Iraq Hit by Major Internet Outage

Iraq has been hit by two major Internet outages in as many days. The first came on Saturday and lasted for three hours, and was reportedly ordered by the government to keep Iraqi junior high school students from cheating on national exams. Another outage hit Sunday, though service in the northern region of Kurdistan and satellite service were unaffected, according to Dyn Research, which tracks global Internet connectivity. It's not clear whether the government ordered that outage. But for more than a year now, the government has ordered Internet service providers to cut off portions of the country for periods of time in an attempt to stop ISIS from coordinating attacks and spreading propaganda via social media. The companies have specifically been told to block access to popular platforms such as Twitter. Just how effective that campaign has been is difficult to gauge. The Iraqi government also tried, and failed, to pull the plug on Internet providers in 2013 over a pricing dispute.

— Shane Harris