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Ar Sirija gali „išjungti“ internetą?

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Bashar-Al-AssadThe internet is a decentralized global network, designed to be resilient and hard to take down. But it’s still possible to black out a certain area, or even an entire country, disconnecting it from the rest of the world.

That’s what happened in Egypt in 2011 and three times in Syria in just the last year.

Were these waves of blackouts the result of technical failures? Or does Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have stronghold over the country’s internet access? Most likely yes, say experts.

“This is only possible if the government has complete control over the telecommunications infrastructure,” said John Shier, of the security firm Sophos.

Even if Syria doesn’t have complete control, it has a stranglehold over the network’s single point of failure: the state-controlled Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), which maintains “the primary flow of Internet traffic in and out of the country,” according to David Belson, the editor of network security firm Akamai’s Interneto būklė ketvirtinę ataskaitą.

That means Syria’s internal providers — PCCW, Turk Telekom, Telecom Italia and TATA — have to get access to the Internet through the STE.

“If those providers are all funneling back into what is, in essence, a single government-controlled gateway to get out of the country, then these independent providers have very little control over the international connectivity,” Belson said.

Reklama

If a country has only one or two providers, it’s “at severe risk of internet disconnection,” according to Renesys, an internet monitoring firm that did a census of the world’s countries and the number of providers that connect to the international internet.

Sirija yra tarp 61 šalių, turinčių tik vieną ar du teikėjus.

“Under those circumstances, it’s almost trivial for a government to issue an order that would take down the Internet,” said Jim Cowie, Renesys’ Chief Technology Officer.

“Make a few phone calls, or turn off power in a couple of central facilities, and you’ve (legally) disconnected the domestic internet from the global internet.”

“Make a few phone calls, or turn off power in a couple of central facilities, and you’ve (legally) disconnected the domestic Internet from the global internet.”

Kad suprastumėte, kaip lengva tai padaryti, manau, kad Egiptas turėjo keturis paslaugų teikėjus, kai sėkmingai nutraukė internetą per savo 2011 revoliucijos pradžią, kaip Renesys paaiškino dienoraštyje.

Kaip režimas galėtų naudoti savo nužudymo jungiklį?

Belson, of Akamai, said there are two ways. One is to unplug the cables in the datacenter where the STE’s routers connect to outside international Internet providers. The other is to withdraw Syria’s Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes from the global routing tables. BGP is essentially the protocol that ensures traffic on the Internet flows and directs routers to IP addresses around the world.

Būtent taip atsitiko gegužės mėn., Kai Sirija buvo nutraukta nuo interneto maždaug 19 valandų.

Jei Assadas norėtų uždaryti internetą, tai būtų paprasčiausias būdas.

“[It] can be done from a desk anywhere,” Belson explained. “Somebody who has that power within the government fires up a terminal window, types a few commands and shuts off the Syrian BGP routes.”

However, unplugging the cables is more involved. “You would have to be actually physically in the datacenter pulling cables out,” Belson added. While he warned that it’s impossible to tell if the Syrian government will employ these tactics going forward, Belson noted that “it’s certainly a possibility.”

“There’s been something of a pattern,” he said, “where the internet connectivity has suffered outages and downtime often in relation to politically related events within the country.”

Sirijos vyriausybė nuo kovo 2011 karo su laisvosios Sirijos armija, sukilėlių režimą, kurį sudaro kovos su Assad kovotojai. Anksčiau šią savaitę Valstybės departamentas kaltino Sirijos vyriausybę, kad 21 rugpjūčio atakoje netoli Damasko buvo panaudoti cheminiai ginklai prieš sukilėlius, žudant civilius gyventojus ir kurstant tarptautinį pasipiktinimą. Antradienį JAV vyriausybės pareigūnai sakė, kad kariuomenė jau ketvirtadienį gali paleisti raketą ant Sirijos.

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