Libya disconnects from the Internet

Monitoring firm Renesys reports that following sporadic outages throughout the week, Libya now appears to be completely disconnected from the Internet: After a quiet week, we received reports tonight that Libyans in Tripoli were suddenly unable to use various Internet communications utilities. Examining the BGP routing table, we saw nothing unusual — all Libyan routes ...

Monitoring firm Renesys reports that following sporadic outages throughout the week, Libya now appears to be completely disconnected from the Internet:

After a quiet week, we received reports tonight that Libyans in Tripoli were suddenly unable to use various Internet communications utilities. Examining the BGP routing table, we saw nothing unusual --- all Libyan routes up and stable.

But our traceroutes tell a different story (no responses from Libyan hosts). All of the Libyan-hosted government websites we tested (i.e., the ones that are actually hosted in Libya, and not elsewhere) were unreachable.

Monitoring firm Renesys reports that following sporadic outages throughout the week, Libya now appears to be completely disconnected from the Internet:

After a quiet week, we received reports tonight that Libyans in Tripoli were suddenly unable to use various Internet communications utilities. Examining the BGP routing table, we saw nothing unusual — all Libyan routes up and stable.

But our traceroutes tell a different story (no responses from Libyan hosts). All of the Libyan-hosted government websites we tested (i.e., the ones that are actually hosted in Libya, and not elsewhere) were unreachable.

Google’s Transparency Report seems to confirm that their Libyan query traffic has fallen to zero as well (click for latest)

[…]

Our last successful traceroute into Libya was shortly after 16:35 UTC. So it looks like this is more than a blip — radio silence for 12 hours and counting.

One security advisor tells the BBC that this shutdown appears to have been carried out differently from Mubarak’s — diverting traffic rather than cutting off routers:

While all routers reported that lines to Libya were live, any traffic sent was not reaching its destination and was probably being "blackholed", said Mr Ferguson.

Attempts to trace the routes that traffic could take into the country ended a hop short of official Libyan net space, said Mr Ferguson.

This meant that not only was Libya cut off from the net, but those inside the country would not be able to send messages or browse sites either.

Unlike in Egypt, this won’t have much of an effect on the communication between the opposition and the outside world, which has already been minimal. News outlets in eastern Libya are presumably relying on satellite phones. This could, however, disrupt some of the surreptitious methods opposition activists have been using to communicate online.

Hat tip: Jillian York

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Libya

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