Many speculate the Syrian government has shut down the Internet to prevent further advances by the rebels in the civil war raging in the country. The rebels depend on internet connectivity for communication, training and organizing attacks. Shutting it down puts the rebels at a sever disadvantage.
Foreign Policy’s Cyber Apps blog speculated that the Internet blackout could be a precursor to a large scale offensive against the rebels to include a nation wide civilian massacre.
Rafif Jouejati, a U.S. representative for the Local Coordination Committees in Syria told Killer Apps: “This is the MO of the regime before it storms any given area, they cutoff communications, water, power, before they storm and what always happens is a massacre.”
This is not the first attack sustained by the rebels. Government hackers have broke into Syrian rebel basic computers using a fake security security software, according to Danger Room. Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told Danger Room that the surveillance programs will “take screenshots of target machines, turn on the computer’s microphone or camera, log all your keystrokes — and then send it all back to Damascus.”
The brutal fighting continues between the rebels and the Syrian government. The Assad regime has launched attacks against cities near the Turkish border. Meanwhile, the rebels make advances on towns on the outskirts of Damascus, the Syrian capital.
Shutting down the Internet may signal a new level of desperation from Assad’s regime as they try to slow down the rebels.