Internet Shutdowns

Local Impact

The second Internet shutdown by the Syrian government during national exams happened between 5:00 and 8:30 local time on 26 June 2023 with more expected at the same time over the coming days.

As reported by SMEX, this is not the first time the Syrian government has resorted to Internet shutdowns during national school exams. In May 2018 and August 2020, the authorities implemented the same measure during the secondary school certificate exams period. Similarly, in August 2022, the telecommunications company published a comparable schedule detailing the dates and areas affected by the service interruption. It stated that this procedure is in accordance with “the Ministry of Education’s request to ensure the examination process runs smoothly and to counter cyber intrusions and attacks on the secondary certificate exams.”

As we have repeatedly written about here on Pulse, Internet shutdowns cause great harm to a country’s economy and society and are in our opinion NOT the appropriate mechanism to cope with potential exam cheating.

Data and Analysis

Cloudflare Radar measurements show the shutdown on 26 June.

Chart from Cloudflare Radar showing the Internet shutdown on 26 June.

Measurements from the Internet Outage Detection and Analysis (IODA) project at Georgia Tech show a steep drop in BGP connectivity from 2:00 to 5:30 UTC on 25 and 26 June 2023, indicating the shutdown is affecting Internet connectivity.

Chart showing drop in connectivity in Syria on 25 and 26 June

Conversations

Economic Impact
No data
Shutdown Type
National
Affected Services
Cellular and Fixed Broadband