Syria Internet blackout enters second day

May 8, 2013

Syria's Internet blackout entered into its second consecutive day Wednesday, which the state news agency blamed on a fault in optical fibre cables.

Landline phone services between Syrian provinces have also been down since Tuesday, SANA said.

US tech firms and the US State Department reported the blackout Tuesday but did not specify any reasons for it. A similar blackout happened last November.

"Internet services and phonecalls between provinces were cut off Tuesday evening because of a fault in optical fibre cables," SANA said.

"Efforts are ongoing to fix the faults and to bring Internet and telephone services back up as soon as possible," the agency said quoting a communications official.

Activists who frequently use the Internet to report on violence engulfing their country blamed the authorities for the blackout.

"Even devices" used by many anti-regime activists to avoid surveillance "have been slow," a Syrian activist currently out of his country told AFP's Beirut bureau.

"I think the regime has a plan to stage some kind of attack. That's what happens every time Internet goes down," said the activist, an Internet expert who identified himself as Fares.

Syria is ranked 176 out of 179 countries in a worldwide press freedom index compiled by international watchdog (RSF).

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