All internet connections to Sudan were cut off abruptly on Wednesday afternoon, after riots erupted in northern Khartoum over the ending of fuel subsidies.
The move to cut connections appears to have been done by the government to prevent protesters using social media to organise riots. “From the connectivity data alone, we cannot tell whether the blackout is government directed.” Doug Madory from internet monitoring firm Renesys told the Guardian. “However, it is either a coincidental catastrophic failure of all three independent internet providers and their connections out of Sudan, including a terrestrial link into Egypt – unlikely given its not just a single connection – or some centrally directed, government action.”
He added: “Normally with a failure of this type that isn’t governmentally directed, like a power failure or a cut cable, internet providers switch to their satellite backups, but we haven’t seen that in this case. It is a total shutdown, as happened previously in Egypt.”