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Libya’s Internet still blocked

March 7, 2011 • Mobile and Telecoms

Libya’s Internet, which had been returning to normal late last week, has once again been almost entirely shut down by the government, as violence continues across the North African country, a Google Transparency Report said over the weekend. As of Monday morning, there was only intermittent access and most Libyans could not log on to the Internet.

The first blackout occurred on February 18, but Internet access was restored after being completely cut for 7 hours. Many analysts had thought that the government was attempting an Internet blackout akin to Egypt’s efforts in January to silence coverage of the anti-government protests.

James Cowie, chief technology officer of Renesys, an information technology consultancy, said this time it is different from the case in Egypt, or even the previous service outages. “It’s like a post-apocalyptic scenario where the roads are there, there just isn’t any traffic,” he said.

One Libyan-American in Tripoli managed to tell IT News Africa and Bikya Masr that “the Internet is almost completely shut down. I haven’t had access in days and it means that it is increasingly difficult to stay in touch with the outside world.”

By Jonathan Terry

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