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:
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….
All Syrian Internet traffic and cell phone access was still off late Thursday.