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Sudan shuts down Internet amid riots in Khartoum

updated 12:32 pm EDT, Wed September 25, 2013

Riots associated with fuel subsidies

The government of Sudan has reportedly cut off access to Internet service, as protesters continue to riot in the capital city Khartoum. Internet intelligence firm Renesys confirms that the country has been essentially disconnected from the Internet, observing a partial interruption around 10:00am UTC and a near total disconnection before 1pm UTC, according to a Washington Post report.

The country is said to have experienced large outages in the past due to technical problems, however the extent of the latest interruption has been viewed as evidence of government intervention. The government was accused of cutting off service earlier this year in preparation for a large protest.

"If confirmed to be government-directed, this outage would be the largest government-directed Internet blackout since Egypt in January 2011," said Renesys' Doug Madory.

Police are reportedly firing tear gas into crowds of protestors, attempting to gain control of a situation that has already resulted in at least two deaths. The riots are said to have followed a decision by the government to halt fuel subsidies, a move that was encouraged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after oil-rich South Sudan split off into an independent state several years ago.

The Sudanese government has yet to confirm responsibility for the Internet outage.

by MacNN Staff



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