Libya Internet is down again, according to Google tool


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Libya has shut off the Internet again, according to a Google monitoring tool.

As of about 8 a.m. PST Thursday (or 6 p.m. in Tripoli, Libya’s capital), the nation’s Internet traffic began to flatline, and has been at zero since, says Google’s Transparency Report.


The apparent Internet shutdown came as protesters held a rally in the city Friday evening, one that was aggressively squelched by Moammar Kadafi’s security forces, according to a Times report by correspondents Borzou Daragahi and Garrett Therolf:

Kadafi loyalists used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, and some witnesses told news organizations that they used live ammunition, but the reports could not be independently verified. Foreign journalists attempting to reach the site were stopped and aggressively searched by militiamen loyal to the longtime strongman.

Libyan officials have shut down the Internet more than once recently, including an apparent blackout on Feb. 18, when news television channels and websites were down for at least a day.

Quoting James Cowie of technology consultancy Renesys, The International Business Times noted that this outage appears to be diffent and more severe than the previous Libyan shutdown. ‘It’s like a post-apocalyptic scenario where the roads are there, there just isn’t any traffic,’ Cowie said.


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-- David Sarno