It is being reported that Internet access to our neighbouring country, Ethiopia, has been cut off.
According to NetBlocks, Ethiopia’s Internet was cut off as of 7:30 am UTC which is as of 10:30am Kenyan time.
From their data, NetBlocks identified that the country’s only Internet provider, Ethiopia Telecom, disconnected connectivity in the recorded time. They use their diffscans which map the entire IP address space of a country in real time and shows internet outages corresponding to Internet cuts in the region. They have determined that purposeful Internet outages generally have a distinct pattern which is used by NetBlocks to determine and attribute the cause of an outage.
This cutoff is ongoing and it is believed that it is being used as a measure to counter cheating during national school exams.
This is not surprising at all as Ethiopia did this last year. On July 2018, Ethiopia blocked access to social networking sites due to exams. In that case, it was a temporary measure since apparently it was a ‘distraction’ to students. Citizens were not able to access such social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Viber.
If today’s case is similar to the one experienced last year, this means that the blocking of internet access in Ethiopia could be a temporary case until the exam season is over.
Internet access was declared as a basic human right by the UN back in 2011. This hasn’t stopped multiple countries all over the world from routinely interrupting Internet access to their citizens and sadly it looks like it is not ending any time soon.