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How Syrian opposition bypasses Assad's communication blocks

In the opposition-controlled regions of Syria, activists have established monitoring observatories to track the regime’s movements and coordinate military and humanitarian action.
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IDLIB, Syria — The means of communication in Syria have always been limited. After President Bashar al-Assad came to power in 2000, he sponsored what he called an information technology revolution and licensed two telecommunications companies, Syriatel and MTN. There were no mobile or Internet networks in Syria before 2000.

Syriatel is owned by Rami Makhlouf, Assad's cousin, while MTN Group is a multinational mobile telecommunications company. The Syrian regime thus controlled and was able to tap all wired and wireless Syrian communications. Following the outbreak of the revolution against the ruling regime in March 2011, Assad exploited his domination over the sector. He cut off communications in all regions opposing him or where the Syrian army intended to subjugate to stop any communication between the population and the activists of the opposition.

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