The civil war in Libya seems to have reached the beginning of the end. Internet access is resuming, in fits and starts, and the real voices of local bloggers and tweeters are re-emerging -- after months of connectivity blackout.
- On the one hand, hurrah for Internet-assisted people-power.
- On The Other Hand, I do hope the country remains stable while the interim administration gets its feet under the table.
Plus, today's skateboarding duck: How children's TV show formats are created...
John Ribeiro reports:
Internet through DSL...was momentarily unblocked for Tripoli in the late hours of Saturday local time. ... But [it] was once again blocked by Sunday. ... A number of Libyan groups from within Tripoli...reported...on Twitter that the Internet had been restored.
DSL was blocked in Tripoli in the middle of February, though it was unblocked in...government buildings for some government officials during March and April.
James Cowie adds:
[S]omething very strange was going on with Tripoli residents' Internet access. Service was restored suddenly...flickered on and off for a couple of hours, and then died, with the majority of the...international BGP routes withdrawn. ... [L]ocal DSL service has been largely unavailable for the last three to five months.
Why would the government turn the Internet back on in the middle of an armed uprising? To get people to stay at home and catch up on five months of email?
[The Libyan Telecom and Technology] website...is back online, and the Arabic crawl at the bottom says "Congratulations, Libya, on emancipation from the rule of the tyrant."
Mike Masnick muses:
Apparently all internet access goes through 16 blocks of IP addresses, all managed by Libyan Telecom and Technology (LTT). 11 of those blocks have mostly been down.
It seems more likely that this was just some sort of screwup or "solidarity" move by someone at LTT. ... [F]or now it's yet another interesting tidbit in the ongoing efforts by governments trying to use or block the internet to deal with uprisings.
And Graham Cluley notes this possibly-related event:
Hackers calling themselves "Electr0n" have defaced the nic.ly website, the main registry which administers [Libyan] domain names...and replaced it with a defiant message.
Perhaps the most famous site to use the .ly country code as as their top level domain is the bit.ly url shortening service. [They] do not appear to been impacted by the hack, which seems to just be a defacement.
Meanwhile, Ruwayda Mustafah points the finger for the shutoffs:
There are many charges against Mo Gaddafi, public in Libya must have their faith restored in justice system thru putting them on trial.
Mo Gaddafi was the head of telecom (which denied access to internet) & is charged with theft/other corruption.
But Ali Tweel is just glad to be back on the air:
Can you believe that in 2011 there are about 2 million people at once couldn't send sms or emails? That ******* had many emails deactivated!
Today's Skateboarding Duck...
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. His writing has previously won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.