Breaking Analysis: Syria Internet Outages Continue, Unlikely that Lines Were Cut

For a brief period yesterday, all traffic from Syria to the rest of the Internet stopped. The nation of Syria has experienced two other incidents of the same nature over the last week. SiliconANGLE Founding Editor Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins explained that there are a limited number of lines going into Syria, consisting of a mixture of submarine and overland lines. Contrary to what the Syrian government has said about terrorists cutting the lines, he speculated that it was fairly unlikely that the lines had been cut, since all the lines would have had to been cut simultaneously for this type of outage to occur. He said a more
probable explanation is that a software kill switch or routing kill switch was involved.

The Syrian Minister of Information is being reported as saying that the government did not disable the Internet, and attributes the outage to a cable being cut. Hopkins responded, “Every analyst that looks at this, whether they’re a political science or foreign policy analyst or technical expert, regards this as fairly unlikely.” Hopkins referenced a report from Renesys that gave some theories as to what happened, such as this was possibly a cover for some kind of aggressive military operation that would make the Syrian
government look bad or a practice run for cutting off communications.

Hopkins’ personal opinion is that this was some sort of action taken by the government and viewed both of the aforementioned Renesys theories as viable explanations. Hopkins commented on the impact of this outage by saying, “This is very economically damaging . . . especially in a country like Syria where there are very limited natural resources.” At the time of the interview, outages were still on-going in Syria. ┬áSee the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and Mark Hopkins on the Morning NewsDesk Show.