Evidence of internet shutdown in Gabon amid apparent coup attempt

The NetBlocks internet shutdown observatory has detected evidence of a major internet disruption in Gabon at 7:00AM UTC Monday 7 January 2019. Affected population centres include Libreville and Port-Gentil.

The shutdown comes as military forces have reportedly gained power, with President Ali Bongo reportedly abroad seeking medical treatment. It is presently unclear whether civilian or military forces are responsible for the disruption.

Update 1: Connectivity was partially restored as of 10:00AM with the government reportedly having put down the uprising, although the disruptions have shortly afterwards returned.

Update 2: Connectivity has been restored from 11:00AM Tuesday 8 January 2019, with the outages lasting 28 hours; estimated COST impact to economy ~$1,000,000.

The pictured temporospatial imagery tracks the timing and extent of the disruption:

Although coup attempts are infrequent on a global scale, there are recorded incidents of internet disruptions associated with media blackouts typically ordered by the forces seeking power. During the failed July 2016 power bid in Turkey a partial internet disruption was detected before order was re-established by the government.

 


Methodology

NetBlocks diffscans, which map the IP address space of a country in real time, show internet connectivity levels and corresponding outages. Purposeful internet outages generally have a distinct network pattern used by NetBlocks to determine and attribute the root cause of an outage, a process known as attribution which follows detection and classification stages.


NetBlocks is a civil society group working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives for an open and inclusive digital future for all.

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