Ethiopia has blocked access to the internet to prevent leaks as grade 10 students sit for exams, reports the Guardian. The nation also shut down access to some social media sites last year after university entrance exam questions were posted online—and has previously cut off internet access to curb political protests, according to Quartz. The government did not offer an official explanation for the outage.
‘Cos of the blackout: Banks are out of service, Bulk SMS services are not available, GPS services are not accessible …
— Zelalem Kibret (@zelalemkibret) May 31, 2017
Blocking websites to prevent cheating isn’t unique to Ethiopia. Algeria also denied access to social sites last year after exam questions were posted online, according to the BBC.
Nationwide internet blackouts are also increasingly being used to stem political discussion and protest. In the past year, Ethiopia, Uganda, Congo Republic, and Cameroon have blocked internet access on political grounds; in Turkey, social media users have had their feeds obstructed. In a resolution passed last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council said that restrictions of internet access are a violation of human rights.
This is what internet traffic to Ethiopia looked like during the outage period, according to Akamai: