Things grow worse in Libya and the Internet is switched off

The bloodshed increases and Gadhafi's government turns off the Internet.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Two weeks ago, as unrest grew in Libya, the Libyan government turned off the Internet, and began to kill off its rebellious citizens. Afterwards, the Internet slowly came back on, but now, according to Arbor Networks, Libya’s Internet has been shut down as if a switch has been flipped.

Which, all things considered, might have been exactly what happened. You see Libya’s Internet is owned and controlled by the government through a telecommunication company Libya Telecom & Technology. Even its site is down now.

The company’s chairman is the dictator’s Moammar Gadhafi’s eldest son, Muhammad al-Gaddafi. He recently has been appearing as a leader in his father’s name.

At the same time, the Internet went down, fighting in what is now the de facto civil war escalated.

For now, Libya’s Internet closing down simply means that it will be even harder to get news in and out of the embattled country. Eventually, in up to 28 days, if Libya’s Internet continues to be cut off, it’s possible that Web sites that use .ly domain names, such as the popular Web URL shortening site, bit.ly, and links that use it, will fail.

That’s a minor matter though as Libya’s people continue to bleed in the struggle between its aging dictator, his mercenaries, and loyalists and its young citizens yearning for a better life and freedom.

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