On Thursday the Syrian government shut down nearly all Internet traffic into and out of the country, a sign that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has grown wary of external scrutiny. Many activists fear it is also a sign that Syria plans a vicious crackdown on rebels who seek an end to Assad’s regime.
Anonymous issued a press release Thursday night reiterating the hacktivists’ allegiance with the people of Syria and outlining measures Anonymous has put in place to assist Syrians with maintaining communication with the outside world. The infamous and de-centralized collective also detailed what they plan for Syrian web properties that are still active online.
All Syrian Internet traffic and cell phone access was still off late Thursday.
Anonymous’s full statement is below:
Anonymous Operation Syria – Press Release
Thursday – November 29, 2012 7:00 PM ET USA
Greetings World –
Today, at precisely 10:30 AM ET all Internet traffic into and out of Syria ceased. Within a half hour of this sudden shut down, the PBX land-lines were degraded by 90% and Mobile connectivity was degraded by 75%. The nation of Syria has gone dark. And Anonymous knows all to well what happens in the dark places.
Anonymous has done an exhaustive analysis of the Internet shut-down in Syria and we have concluded that the Syrian regime has physically severed the fiber-optic and coaxial cables coming into Syria. Essentially, they have physically “pulled the plug out of the wall”. As we discovered in Egypt, where the dictator Mubarak did something similar – this is not damage that can be easily or quickly repaired.
Fortunately, Anonymous has been working with Syrian activists for well over a year in anticipation of this moment. We produced and disseminated the Syrian Care Package – http://bit.ly/Wxx0ev and there are emergency independent media centers already set up in every city of Syria. Activists and independent journalists in Syria will be able to utilize these media centers to get news and media out of Syria, and Anonymous will assist in propagating that media to the world. Anonymous will keep open the lines of telecommunication with the free Syrian people. We will be the voice of the voiceless in Syria.
“When your government shuts down the Internet, shut down your government.” ~~ Anonymous Egypt
Anonymous will NOT allow this massive violation of the human rights of the free Syrian people go un-punished. We feel this is a desperate move by a dying regime, one that has slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Beginning at 9:00 PM ET USA Anonymous will begin removing from the Internet all web assets belonging to the Assad regime that are NOT hosted in Syria. We will begin with the websites and servers belonging to ALL Syrian Embassies abroad, which we will begin systematically removing from the Internet tonight. Our first target will be the website of the Syrian Embassy of in China: syria.org.cn – we encourage the media to follow the Twitter account @OpSyriaIRC for announcements on take-downs, defacements, data dumps, E-Mail bombs and black fax attacks. By turning off the Internet in Syria, the butcher Assad has shown that the time has come for Anonymous to remove the last vestiges of his evil government from the Internet. Soon, his people will remove him from this world. Let the final battle for a free Syria begin….
We Are Anonymous
We Are Legion
We Do Not Forgive
We Do Not Forget Bashar Assad, your turn has come – EXPECT US