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Syria Falls Off the Internet Again

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the going-dark dept.

Networking 68

New submitter briancox2 writes with news that all internet traffic from Syria has disappeared. Umbrella Security Labs explains: "Routing on the Internet relies on the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). BGP distributes routing information and makes sure all routers on the Internet know how to get to a certain IP address. When an IP range becomes unreachable it will be withdrawn from BGP, this informs routers that the IP range is no longer reachable. For example, one of the name servers for the DNS zone .SY is ns1.tld.sy with IP address 82.137.200.85. Normally our routers would expect a BGP route for 82.137.192.0/18. Currently that route has disappeared and we no longer have a way to reach the nameservers for .SY that reside in Syria. ... Currently there are just three routes in the BGP routing tables for Syria, while normally it’s close to eighty. ... Effectively, the shutdown disconnects Syria from Internet communication with the rest of the world."

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Obviously.... (3, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | about a year and a half ago | (#43658949)

...they use Centurylink.

oh, goody (2)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#43658969)

has the nation Syria also fallen into a black hole? please?

Re:oh, goody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43663379)

It's been that way since the 7th century, when it got conquered by the Arabs. Prior to that, it was just fine.

Re:oh, goody (0)

odigity (266563) | about a year and a half ago | (#43664795)

This attitude disturbs me. If I wanted to read retarded, barbaric "bomb them all into the stone-age" rhetoric, I'd go to Fox News. I expect better from Slashdot. There are millions of people in Syria. Some are children. Some are atheists. Some probably contribute to open source software and are active in Arab-spring-style activities.

Are you really comfortably advocating that all those human beings should die? Why? Because the actions of the Syrian government that claims ownership over those human beings do things you disagree with? Because I feel the same way about all governments. That's no excuse for cheering on the death/genocide of that government's domestic victims.

Re:oh, goody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43665251)

"If I wanted to read retarded, barbaric "bomb them all into the stone-age" rhetoric, I'd go to Fox News"

What are you talking about? Who on FNC said this, or anything like it? When did this happen? Do you have copies of this video or transcripts? Because if you do not then you are lying.

Why would you lie about such a thing is what I wonder. What news source is it that you rely on to provide actual reporting of news, how can you be sure that this source is not biased. Because the truth is that a statement such as you made 'bomb them all into the stone-age' is itself an indicator of bias worse than anything I have seen on FNC. Does this cognitive dissonance not impact you at all or are you just flat out brainwashed and stupid?

Please understand, this is a real question; present citations of this war mongering from FNC or we will all understand that you are just a drone.

Take your time.

Re:oh, goody (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year and a half ago | (#43665561)

Do you think you're any better with your DailyKos-style talking points? Are the Christians in Syria OK with you, or should Obama hit those with a drone?

Censorship != Damage (-1)

scum-e-bag (211846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43658971)

Censorship != Damage
The "non-TOR" internet does not route around damaged sections.
The "non-TOR" internet should be renamed to the stasi-net.

Re:Censorship != Damage (4, Informative)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659195)

The "non-TOR" internet does not route around damaged sections.

Forgive me for a moment, but that's exactly what the Internet was designed to do. This is accomplished via routing protocols which store multiple routes to a single destination in the event of failure.
Unless you're trying to imply that TOR is a superior "type" of Internet, in which case it should be pointed out that TOR is simply an application which runs on top of all of the fiber, copper, and wireless links built by current providers. So it really doesn't matter if someone either physically cuts the cord or starts filtering your routes, TOR will not function without the underlying layers of physical and network connectivity.

Re:Censorship != Damage (-1, Flamebait)

scum-e-bag (211846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660421)

If Syria has dropped off the internet due to the inaccessibility of the .sy domain, then, the internet is not routing around the damage.

It's pretty bloody obvious.

TOR would route around these issues with minimal effort. The internet as it is now known, is being controlled and censored. The internet as it was, is now TOR. Get with the times and stop posting rubbish that is 20 years out of date.

Re:Censorship != Damage (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660971)

THeres a limit to what it can do. Thats like saying "if my RAID6 array fails when 3 drives go down, then its not providing redundancy". Sure it is, you just exceeded its capacity to do so.

Re:Censorship != Damage (4, Informative)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43661075)

If Syria has dropped off the internet due to the inaccessibility of the .sy domain, then, the internet is not routing around the damage.

I see where you are coming from, but I think you're still confusing the issue. The .sy domain is inaccessible as a result of Syria withdrawing its routes from the global BGP table. Since Routing Protocols like BGP operate at a lower layer than DNS and TOR, these services are unavailable as a result. So while TOR may be able to help if Syria were simply filtering DNS, this is not the case.
It's like having your arm chopped off and wondering why you can't move your fingers.

Get with the times and stop posting rubbish that is 20 years out of date.

The Internet is still built on routing protocol which is almost 20 years old. This is the reality that we face. Whether you believe it to be rubbish or not is irrelevant - if a country can control which routes it advertises in this manner, a major redesign (or a new global routing protocol) would be required to work around it.

Re:Censorship != Damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43661113)

You can't just route around something like this, something has happened (or been done on purpose) to remove the Syrian IP blocks from the Internet. Tor runs on top of the existing infrastructure (IP, frame relay, whatever) and cannot function without it. Tor can do nothing to fix a problem like this.

Re:Censorship != Damage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43663411)

TOR would route around these issues with minimal effort. The internet as it is now known, is being controlled and censored. The internet as it was, is now TOR. Get with the times and stop posting rubbish that is 20 years out of date.

So you are seriously claiming that TOR will work when the computer it is installed on has no IP address or no connection to the Internet at all???

Really?

Go install TOR on a laptop. Unplug it from the ethernet and turn off the wifi card.
Just TRY to use TOR that way, and you will find out exactly how stupidly wrong you are.

Re:Censorship != Damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669991)

What's "pretty bloody obvious" is that you have no clue about how the Internet works.

Re:Censorship != Damage (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43689087)

Theere's only so much routing around damage that can be done, particularly when authoritiesb don't want the damage routed around.. This is technology, not magic.

OTOH, if some people around the borders put up radio links into less oppressive places, they can route around the damage to an extent.

Re:Censorship != Damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43664391)

The Internet is routing around the damage, the damage in this case happens to be called "Syria."

Re:Censorship != Damage (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660371)

Censorship != Damage ........

Now I do wonder, what the true issue is?

Snarkieness aside something is wrong. I wonder what it is.

In conflicts communication traffic analysis is commonly used to predict offensive or other major actions. Total communication blackouts will often hide troop movements (either side) or block information about movements so defensive or counter offensive actions can take place.

The optimist in me wants to believe a backhoe dug up a cable.

The pessimist in me wonders about a major escalation that could be internal or at a border. What if the rumor that Sadat moved his WMD to another country for what might now prove to be unsafe keeping.

Time to watch the news.... or in the case of a large conflict watch the city wide smoke signals.

Re:Censorship != Damage (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year and a half ago | (#43661877)

Interestingly I saw a prediction of this in the comments section of the Guardian newspapers Syria coverage a couple of weeks ago. The comment noted that this would be in order to hide violent action by government troops.

Re:Censorship != Damage (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year and a half ago | (#43661983)

Here you go https://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com] - a well known "rebel" blog says:

  #yallasouriya 12:39 am on May 8, 2013 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment

#Syria Internet dial up info
Pass this to #Syria, a way to get back into internet

Dial up access #Syria: +46850009990 +492317299993 +4953160941030 user:telecomix password:telecomix OR +33172890150 login:toto password:toto

IT HAS STARTED – INTERNET CONNECTION IS BEGINNING TO GO OUT IN SYRIA!
The local news media in #Homs, Syria said it would happen and it has begun. Warn your Syrian friends to be prepared for the worst, and pray for the best. God Bless Syria!Black heart (cards)

via Anonymous News Network & Hope Merrett

URGENT: Please share with media and humanitarian organisations

Re:Censorship != Damage (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43663383)

Both sides in this conflict are evil, so I'd say nothing is lost if news about Syria can't be accessed from the internet.

Oh Snap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43658975)

Oh Snap the net is down!

Crossover Cable (5, Funny)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659013)

Well someone plug it back in! Also, I'm pretty sure you have to use a crossover cable when connecting one Internet to another.

Re:Crossover Cable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43660275)

i setup a website, now im internet

Isreal (2, Funny)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659047)

Had absolutely nothing to do with it!

Re:Isreal (0, Offtopic)

sconeu (64226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659519)

Isimaginary, on the other hand...

Seriously, guys... LEARN TO SPELL. It's "Israel", not "Isreal".

Re:Isreal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43660359)

But he really meant that Israel had nothing to do with it.

Israel on the other hand is responsible for cutting their Internet, and training birds to spy on arab countries [go.com] .

Re:Isreal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43660965)

I spell it Israhell.

Umbrella Security Labs explains... (2, Funny)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659135)

Glad to know Umbrella Corp is diversifying. When can I order my clone of Milla?

Re:Umbrella Security Labs explains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43661551)

Glad to know Umbrella Corp is diversifying. When can I order my clone of Milla?

Don't you mean you want your own copy of Project Alice??

Re:Umbrella Security Labs explains... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43661649)

Yes =P

Why Is There No Second World? (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659211)

When a government attempts to squelch dissent, too often they wind up resorting to suppression of the freedom of speech and access to information. The internet, a luxury to many of us living large 1st-World lives, is the epitome of freedom in the Third World.

Re:Why Is There No Second World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43659353)

Who would be waging the 2cnd world war and against who?

The rich use to own nations and lead "races". They got into it with each other starting the 1st world war, everyone else followed for ideological reasons or because they were being invaded.

The 2cnd happened because of ideological reasons as the previous losers were recovering under the dictatorship of someone who had gained an absolute tyranny while reforming the German economy and rebuilding them. The impoverished people were more then happy to keep the engine going and crush everyone who didn't agree with them.

The alightment of countries who are enemies is much more un-even now. The U.S. and China and Russia have basically the same agenda. African countries are playing catch up with the U.S. and China and are perfectly happy with whatever voice their given in the U.N.

The muslim countries are divided up the middle with some perfectly happy to work in the international community since they have not earned some crazy embargo. The rest are all completely embargoed and not part of the club. This numbers pretty small... Iran leads these.

Iraq is no longer party of this, were doing commerce by colonization Haliburton style. Their government is going to be reliant on western technology and methods to keep order ;p

N.K.is an exception. Everyone wonders why China has not decided to just Anex them after politely asking the U.S. as a courtesy. Probably because they would "Loose face" and don't want to play the same imperialist game just as they are reforming their economy.

So we have Turkey, Greece, Syria, Jordan, Somalia, Iran. They don't have the ability to wage a world war.

Georgia, the "stans", khazicstan, afghanistan.. Are out of the picture, Pakistan is in a perpetual civil war and has India to contend with.

The power is no longer divided 50/50 amongst the power elite.

Re:Why Is There No Second World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43665107)

P.S. I fail at reading comprehension (2cnd World) not world war...

There are second worlds. Look at Puerto Rico. South Korea. Maybe some regions in China (people assume all of China is one big mess, it's too big for that).

Re:Why Is There No Second World? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43665973)

To address the question in your title- the 1st/2nd/3rd world thing is a throwback to the Cold War. Traditionally it was defined as 1st World = America, Western Europe, Australasia + Allies, 2nd World = USSR, China, other communist countries + Allies, 3rd World = everyone who isn't 1st or 2nd World, in practice most of Africa, South America and south Asia. The connotation of 3rd World being impoverished is based on the fact that 3rd World meant "not aligned to a super power".

The whole terminology is largely meaningless now, but 3rd World remains a convenient shorthand for "less economically developed countries" (the official term).

how do you remove a country from the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43659253)

Obviously I don't understand networking all that well. How do you cut off a whole country from the internet?

Re:how do you remove a country from the internet? (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659339)

Obviously I don't understand networking all that well. How do you cut off a whole country from the internet?

By severing all the international links (either physically, or by withdrawing all the routes from BGP).

Re:how do you remove a country from the internet? (2, Insightful)

budgenator (254554) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660183)

All it takes is a couple F16s with 500 pound bombs.

How are they connected? (2)

cpghost (719344) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659269)

It would be interesting to find out how Syria is physically connected to the Internet, and who the operators on both sides actually are.

Many ways to say it, I see (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43659305)

New submitter briancox2 writes with news that all internet traffic from Syria has disappeared.

Right, gotcha. With the absurd amounts of civil unrest and bloodshed going on, it's amazing it remained available this long. No problem at all believing that.

Routing on the Internet relies on the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). BGP distributes routing information and makes sure all routers on the Internet know how to get to a certain IP address. When an IP range becomes unreachable it will be withdrawn from BGP, this informs routers that the IP range is no longer reachable.

Yeeeeeah. Which is what happened here. Probably due to the government or the rebels knocking said connections off by force.

For example, one of the name servers for the DNS zone .SY is ns1.tld.sy with IP address 82.137.200.85.

Um... not sure we care. They're off the internet. Given the circumstances, I very highly doubt it's a DNS issue.

Normally our routers would expect a BGP route for 82.137.192.0/18. Currently that route has disappeared and we no longer have a way to reach the nameservers for .SY that reside in Syria.

That's an awful lot of wasted words for "Syria is off the internet".

Currently there are just three routes in the BGP routing tables for Syria, while normally it’s close to eighty. ... Effectively, the shutdown disconnects Syria from Internet communication with the rest of the world.

Yeah, look, when I see a server reduced to molten slag due to being in a warzone and the hazards therein and then notice the internet connection isn't working, my first hypothesis generally isn't the routing tables.

They don't need it (1)

amightywind (691887) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659407)

They won't need the internet anyway. Bibi Netanyahu is gonna bomb them back to the Stone Age.

Skynet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43659547)

Releasing the Skynet virus into Syria requires them to be disconnected from the rest of the world.

Don't be so quick to assume! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43659689)

This might not have had anything to do with Basar Al Assad (or whatever) and his fight with rebels. It could just be they tried to migrate Syria to Windows 8...

This is great news (2)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year and a half ago | (#43659793)

If Syria can't make it back to technological civilization can we have their IPV4 address space,then?

Re:This is great news (3, Funny)

CrashandDie (1114135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660355)

What do you need those 4 addresses for, exactly?

Re:This is great news (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about a year and a half ago | (#43661403)

To send spam from, of course!

It could be just a technical problem (3, Insightful)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660071)

Everyone assumes that this was done deliberately but Syria is in the middle of a civil war and technical problems could be just as likely. I imagine router replacement parts would be hard to come by at the very least.

Re: Not a civil war. (-1, Troll)

geekymachoman (1261484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660551)

Well you ought to get a reality-slap.
It's not a civil war. They are fighting al-qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations operating there. Israel bombed them as well couple of days ago.
They(Israel) provide financial support, as well as Britain (and probably US, if not directly, then indirectly.. because US = Great friend of Israel .. just look at those hefty military aid numbers) for those al-qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations (oh my what a irony) known on mainstream media as "rebels". Rebels in context of "people against oppression".

It's a old technique .. .on how to do a regime change indirectly. Quite popular these days.

The only problem they (us,israel,britain) have now.. is that they can't ship weapons directly there, due to international sanctions.
So for now they just supply them with vehicles, technology and money.
If you want citations... google them.

Regarding internet cutoff.. it might also be done by those 'rebels', to make Syria look bad. Here, everybody assumed Syria's government did that, so if the rebels really did do it, they succeeded in the mission.
If that's not the case.. well f it. If they think that's best course of action for their country in wartime.. they might be right.

Re: Not a civil war. (1)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660633)

civil war - A war between citizens of the same country. Al-qaeda affiliated terrorists or not as long as the vast majority of rebels are Syrian citizens, which they are, than its a civil war

Re: Not a civil war. (1)

geekymachoman (1261484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43661729)

Then every other country US (and it's allies) indirectly invaded is in fact a civil war of that country.

To quote a wikipedia article on the subject:
"Due to significant involvement, both direct and indirect, of foreign nations and militant groups, the conflict is sometimes described as a proxy war.[442]"

Civil war.. with dozens of countries involved and same number of dodgy groups linked to cia and al-qaida. Right. If it makes you feel better.

Re: Not a civil war. (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year and a half ago | (#43661921)

Correction to a factual error. The Israelis bombed Syrian government installations - reputedly to destroy weapons en-route to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

A serving of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43660075)

Obviously Syria hates freedom, someone should feed them a helping heap of freedom!

Syria goes off the air (2)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660653)

And nothing of value was lost

Must be (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43660931)

those Dell "PCs" that they bought!!!

Are we caring? (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43660985)

Does anyone really care if some third world cesspool disconnects from the Internet?

Re:Are we caring? (-1, Flamebait)

u16084 (832406) | about a year and a half ago | (#43662047)

You must be watching fox again. Bad day for lack of mod points

Boston PD Falls Off Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43662141)

The Boston Police Department is under surveillance by the FBI, CIA, Treasury and even DoD units.

The Chief, when learning of the undercover investigation made a rash decision to pulled the plug on the Main District Office sending 5 blocks of Boston into darkness. This was necessary for the Chief to go to the basement and start dismantling the Meth Lab installed there and disposing of raw cocaine and other assorted drug culture items beloved by the 'Officers' of the BPD.

Who benefits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43662437)

America, Russia, and China all benefit from keeping their proxy war semi-secret.

Decentralized? (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about a year and a half ago | (#43662599)

Seriously, I am curious, would it be possible/feasible to create a more decentralized infrastructure eg. by using (many) wireless transmitters instead of just "one big cable"? I am also wondering the same thing for big cities ... why the heck doesn't my house have an inbuilt network (that is owned by the house owner, not some isp) and is directly connected to its neighbor buildings? I mean, seriously, if enough people do this then it should be possible to route most traffic through that internal network instead of having to rely on the ISP (and it also promotes people to offer their own content/services/whatever as they have a pretty awesome connection by default).

Re:Decentralized? (1)

welshie (796807) | about a year and a half ago | (#43663273)

Yes, entirely possible. Routing will be a challenge when dealing with millions of fiddly small route entries. At the moment, the Internet routes at a very high level using BGP. The ISPs then internally know how to route their own customer allocations. Even when the route advertisements are for large allocations the routeing tables get very large indeed. If you start announcing routes for a single /32 (IPv4) to multiple peers or a /64 (IPv6), the amount of memory needed on the routers becomes rather enormous. Your typical cheap home router wouldn't have the capability. They typically have barely enough memory for a state table let alone worry about dynamic routeing. Of course, there's nothing to stop you (with permission) hooking into your neighbour's wifi as a client, and privately peering traffic with their public IP addresses. I have yet to see any router hardware or firmware that allows for that sort of thing out of the box with minimal configuration. Persuading your neighbours "upstream" links to offer routes to your network via their connection if yours went down is another matter entirely.

Re:Decentralized? (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668857)

Well, i am not sure about what memory sizes we are talking, but cmon, ram is cheap these days. And the point was rather to have one bigger router "in the basement" for the whole house instead of a shitty one for each flat. Regarding routing you could then group together whole cities or parts of cities which in turn interconnect on that level. Point is, it would be best if there would be 2-3(max) levels of nodes (local - area/city - city/province) and each node has at least 3 connections to other nodes of the same level. And obviously all connections belonging to the people (and interconnects belonging 50/50 to the people it interconnects). Oh well, my socialist side is taking over ;)

Sharks (1)

thisisauniqueid (825395) | about a year and a half ago | (#43662643)

This is obviously the work of sharks [google.com] trained by the US government.

Can the rebels take over the infrastructure? (1)

Cacadril (866218) | about a year and a half ago | (#43663541)

But would it be possible for the insurgents to take control of the physical network in the areas they control, negotiate and set up new connections to networks in the neighboring countries?

I guess the telco(s) i Syria have more or less a star topology infrastructure with the hub in or near Damascus, and I guess the international connections use dedicated fibers from the hub to similar hubs in other countries, as well as satellite links and possibly some forms of terrestial point-to-point radio links.

How hard would it be to reconnect equipment they get hold of, and reorganize the topology?
If some of the dedicated fibers carrying international traffic, pass through rebel territory, can they connect to these links, eg. at the repeaters?

Re:Can the rebels take over the infrastructure? (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | about a year and a half ago | (#43665391)

I wouldn't keep your hopes up for Syrian Freedom of speech no matter who wins. A lot of these rebels have strong islamist (dare I say Taliban-esque) views as well about freedom of speech. The rebels may not have any interest in restoring Internet either.

Hell hath no fury (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#43663641)

like The Onion scorned.

rebels... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43664303)

al-CIA-da rebels backed by israel have cut the cables, so Syrian people can't post about the incasion

No connection (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | about a year and a half ago | (#43664911)

I am sure this is not connected to Israel's deniable nuclear weapons...

cable towed (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674191)

There was a problem was cabling in the sea, is that it again???

Misleading (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | about a year and a half ago | (#43776633)

From the article, one of Syria's tld nameservers is unreachable. That shoudln't affect in any way the ability of folks in Syria to access any website that doesn't have a .sy extension, and it also shouldn't affect the rest of the world's ability to access any websites in Syria that have another tld. The headline is misleading.

This is akin to saying that I've fallen off the Internet if the DNS servers for my domain name are offline. While you can't get to my website, you can certainly get to other websites on the same server if they're using other DNS servers, and I can still continue to work normally because my ability to resolve my own hostnames is not a requirement for me to access the rest of the Internet.
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