Platform disruptions affecting multiple Google services including the YouTube streaming platform as well as Microsoft Bing have been detected by the NetBlocks internet observatory on state provider CANTV (AS8048), starting 4:45 PM UTC (12:45 PM VET) Monday 18 February 2019, during the live streaming of a speech by Juan Guaidó.
Previously, Periscope and other streaming services have also been affected, although they remained available during today’s outage incident. The findings, based on NetBlocks reachability measurements across Venezuela, are corroborated by widespread user reports during the specified period.
The leader’s speeches and public appearances have been systematically censored through recent weeks amid political crisis and loss of confidence in incumbent president Nicolás Maduro. Network measurements show that the outages are consistent with methods used to block online content in Venezuela. Access has typically been restored shortly after the speeches end, with each incident lasting from just 12 minutes to over an hour.
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) February 18, 2019
In recent days, the leading volunteer platform for humanitarian aid was blocked as supporters went out on the streets:
Confirmed: #Venezuela humanitarian aid volunteer platform #VoluntariosXVenezuela blocked as of 1:40PM UTC (9:40AM VET) Saturday, following earlier apparent state-sponsored hacking attempt; incident ongoinghttps://t.co/uB490XdeFj pic.twitter.com/hQJyADclh7
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) February 17, 2019
The outages follow a similar pattern to those observed during past opposition speeches and rallies as well as critical sessions held by Venezuela’s National Assembly, including the disruption of Google Translate and other Google services, now also extending to affect Microsoft Bing, which provides a popular translation service in addition to its web search functionality.
Internet performance and service reachability are determined via NetBlocks web probe privacy-preserving analytics. Each measurement consists of latency round trip time, outage type and autonomous system number aggregated in real-time to assess service availability and latency in a given country. Network providers and locations enumerated as vantage point pairs. The root cause of a service outage may be additionally corroborated by means of traffic analysis and manual testing as detailed in the report.
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.