World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Darkness in Syria - Internet Shut Down


https://www.accessnow.org/blog/2012/11/29/darkness-in-syria

Darkness in Syria

Syria has cut its citizens off from the rest of the world by entirely shutting down its internet as well as most mobile and landline connections, according to news reports and technical analyses by Renesys and Akamai.

Access believes that a total interruption of the internet and telecommunications services is completely unjustifiable, a breach of international law, and always causes serious harm to the public. Syrian authorities should restore service immediately. Any private companies facilitating the shutdown must take immediate action to remedy the human rights impact of cessation of communications services, first and foremost, by restoring service. Companies (and governments) have a responsibility to respect human rights and redress grievances under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

While information about the actual execution of the shutdown is still coming out, all telecommunications providers in the country connect through the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, controlled by the Syrian Ministry of Communication and Technology. Indeed, they are reputed to share a building, so shutting off communications may have been as simple as walking down a hallway and telling the routers to stop announcing their IP addresses, a metaphorical if not actual pulling of the plug.

This isn’t the first time the Syrian regime has shut down communications. Access has received reports from on the ground activists that mobile provider MTN Syria’s networks have gone down in towns just before the Syrian military laid siege to the blacked out areas over the past months. (https://www.accessnow.org/blog/access-confronts-telco-mtn-for-neglecting-human-rights)

Moreover, the drastic step of a wide-scale shutdown is not without precedent either, as Egypt, Burma, and others have shut down national access to the internet during times of unrest. After the Egyptian uprising, we warned that President Mubarak’s order, which Vodafone and other providers complied with, would give more authoritarian regimes the green light to request shutdowns by telecommunications companies. Only through international condemnation and real consequences against officials, including criminal proceedings against those ordering the unlawful shutdowns, will other governments and telecoms heed the message of Article 19 of the ICCPR: all people have the right to seek, receive, and impart information regardless of frontiers.

But more than these violations of international law, we fear the human rights abuses that are likely being perpetrated by the Syrian regime, which cannot be documented and shared with the world under the darkness of this communications blackout. Worryingly, Reuters has already reported (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/29/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8AJ1FK20121129) that the Syrian army has begun a “cleansing operation” in the capital to confront rebel advances, citing an anonymous Syrian security source.

It is incumbent on the Syrian regime, along with the country’s communications operators Tata, Deutsche Telekom, the Chinese PCCW, Turk Telekom, Telecom Italia, Syriatel, and MTN Syria to restore all communications immediately. We further urge the international community to speak out and marshall all possible resources for the defense of the Syrian people.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news