updated 06:25 pm EDT, Fri June 3, 2011
Government attempts to subdue further protests
Nearly all Internet services in Syria have been disconnected amid local unrest that has continued to escalate over the recent months. The move is viewed as a last-ditch effort by the government to interfere with protestors' organizational efforts, as the number of participants in current gatherings is estimated to exceed 50,000 frustrated citizens.
Internet access took a particular role in the growing discontent, which was fueled this week by videos showing the corpse of a 13-year-old boy, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, who appears to be a victim of the conflict. Syrian security officials were accused of torturing and killing the boy, one of seven child deaths this week, according to the Washington Post.
The Syrian government has claimed responsibility for the disconnections, which affect 3G, DSL, dial-up and other services across the entire country.
Many citizens have drawn parallels with the Egyptian government's late efforts to disconnect Internet services. Some believe the strategy backfired, causing a rise in protestor numbers rather than helping to calm the situation.