Syria suffers Internet blackout


State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said during a Thursday press briefing that groups affiliated with the opposition within Syria have reported that the Syrian government "does appear to be resorting to cutting off all kinds of communication," which has affected Internet access, landline and cellular service across the country.

"Obviously, we condemn this latest assault on the Syrian people’s ability to express themselves and communicate with each other," Nuland said. "And it just, again, speaks to the kind of desperation of the regime as it tries to cling to power."

Nuland added that the U.S. has provided 2,000 pieces of communications kits — including computers, phones and cameras — that can circumvent the Syrian network to individuals associated with the opposition effort.

The communications tools are "are all designed to be independent from and able to circumvent the Syrian domestic network precisely for the reason of keeping them safe, keeping them secure from regime tampering, regime listening, regime interruption," Nuland said during the press briefing.

The Syrian government has charged that terrorists are responsible for the Internet blackout, the BBC reported.

--This report was originally posted at 5:48 p.m. and last updated at 8:17 p.m.