Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ethiopia shut down the country’s internet to beat exam cheats

(May 31, (Quartz))--Ethiopia shut down the internet on Tuesday (May 30) ahead of a scheduled national examination that was due to take place in the country on Wednesday.

Social media users noted that the internet service was interrupted from around 7 pm on Tuesday—reportedly to prevent exam leaks.  About 1.2 million students are taking the grade 10 national exams, with another 288,000 preparing for the grade 12 university entrance exams that will take place next week.

Sources in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa told Quartz the internet was reinstituted on Wednesday morning after more than a 12-hour shutdown. Others, however, said that the connection was still being interrupted, and was going on and off. “No connection at all. Everything was blocked,” Biniam Alemayehu said.

Alemayehu told Quartz that his 4G phone connection didn’t start working until 9.30 am.A review of Google’s Transparency Report also indicates a drop in traffic from around 3 pm yesterday. Drop in internet services in Ethiopia on May 30, 2017. (Google Transparency Report) This is not the first time the Horn of Africa nation shut down social media outlets to prevent exam leakages.

In July 2016, the government blocked social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Viber after university entrance exam questions were posted online. Getachew Reda, the government spokesperson at the time, said the blockade was a “temporary measure” given that social networks served as “a distraction” to students. Read more from Quartz »

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