Syria vanishes from the internet

It's the second time in 6 months that the Assad regime has flipped the "off" switch on the internet. Now only servers located outside Syria are reachable.

Yahoo News:

On Twitter, reports are coming in that the Syrian government has cut off Internet access to its citizens:

Twitter rumours that the internet is being cut off in Syria. Confirmation? Source?

-- IRDTP (@IRDTP) May 7, 2013

A quick check of independent Internet-monitoring services appears to confirm the complaints. Here's a chart showing Syrian traffic to Google dropping off a cliff:

And here's the Web services provider Akamai's report:

And BGPMon:

All three sources show a steep drop in Syrian inbound and outbound Internet traffic beginning around 1:45 p.m. Eastern (6:45 p.m. GMT). The two Syrian top-level domain servers, and, are both down at this time, according to Umbrella Security Labs. It's not clear when they'll be back up.

Here's a graph of Syrian internet traffic. Note the near flatline on the extreme right:

An ominous reason that Assad has cut off internet access might be because he is about ready to do something that he doesn't want reported on social networking or other websites. Given the pathetic response of the west to his use of chemical weapons, perhaps he is about to expand their use and doesn't want any living witnesses to confirm it.