Syria must restore Internet access immediately

New York, November 29, 2012 – The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the Internet and cell phone shutdown in Syria today which disconnects Syrians from the world as they endure conflict.

“Unplugging the Internet prevents the vital flow of information and effectively hinders professional and citizen journalists from reporting on developments inside the country” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “We are highly skeptical of Syrian government claims that Internet cables were sabotaged by the opposition and are gravely concerned that the information blackout increases Syrian’s vulnerability to abuse.”

Google has confirmed Internet outages as of 10:26 UTC (12:26 p.m. in Damascus). Additionally, several Internet monitoring companies reported a great loss of international connectivity with Syria. CPJ has ranked Syria the most dangerous place in the world for journalists.