back to article Iraq shuts down internet to prevent exam cheating. The country's entire internet

The Iraqi government is repeatedly shutting down the country's entire internet to prevent students from cheating in their exams. That is the extraordinary conclusion reached by infrastructure experts delving into why the country has experienced a series of three-hour blackouts at the same time each day for three days in a row …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Massive car bombs, complete political instability (edit: wow looks like even the Shiite militias are about to start infighting, sigh), once again increasing sectarian violence and divides, ISIS on the door step, bottom of the world in everything but yeah lets worry about the internet. Boy that was a trillion well spent.

    1. Dadmin

      Re: hmm

      WTF?! I was logged into some STEAMY fucking Iraqi porn sites and then she went down!


      HAHA! Let every fucking gub'ment in the world turn the Internet off and on again! Mobile mesh networks will start to become the norm and we'll put assholes like AT&T and Verizon out on the stoop where the trash belongs!

      Dark net, bright future.

      Dark fiber, dark stools.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hmm

        "Dadmin, the new name for Eadon."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: hmm

          Downvote from Dadmin.

  2. FozzyBear

    When did we start expecting rational thought and decision making from the politicians from that part of the world? Well to be honest from any country's ruling party?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah I dare say if Iraq lost internet connectivity for a week due to being well Iraq nobody would notice. Its more the countries be able to shut down their whole internet angle I suppose.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe it's not irrational - maybe they know that Little Johnny could bring a brown envelope, and a jammer's switch would suddenly change position, or the teacher overseer just have that pressing need to go to the bathroom for a couple of hours...

      Ie, it may be extreme, but it's not irrational when you stand in the middle of an extremely corrupt country (161st out of 168!). For once, everybody is on exactly the same footing, nobody can have preferential treatment.

      1. Nigel 11

        I have to ask, which country is 168/168 corrupt?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They obviously think the loss of economic activity is acceptable. I'd hate to think what a 3 hour blackout would cost in a western country. I bet it's more than $100,000,000 per hour.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Loss

      You'd have to offset that against the boost in productivity from not being able to check FB every two minutes and things like that. Businesses not dependant on 'the cloud' would have an advantage though.

      1. TimeMaster T

        Re: Loss

        Ah, but what about the time wasted checking if FB is back on line every two minutes?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Loss

        Those people probably don't add anything whether the check facebook or not.

    2. Mark 85

      Re: Loss

      I would think that if there were massive anti-government protests or even insurgency, the western governments would have no qualms about shutting down the Internet and telcos. Part of military doctrine is to take out the "command and control" and for any massive protests or even insurgency, I daresay the Internet and telcos provide that C&C.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I have to admire them though

    There is something admirable in their dedication to preventing cheating. They clearly realize how serious and important these exams are to the students lives, and are taking what we consider to be drastic and unusual steps to help make the exam fairer. Desperate times call for desperate measures etc.

    Icon because sadly these people regularly deal with explosions and horrors that would bring Europe to a standstill. Sixty people killed by bombs in a single day this week, but I didn't see the Eiffel tower lit up with the colors of the Iraqi flag...

  5. Rich 11 Silver badge

    The shutdown of Egypt's internet during its struggle for greater democracy back in 2011 is largely seen as the spark for other authoritarian governments to do the same.

    Please, nobody tell Theresa May.

    1. King Jack

      Theresa May

      She'll never shut down the Interwebs. She needs it to spy on everyone and their dog.

  6. David Roberts

    Only the rich

    Have satellite phones.

  7. jake Silver badge

    Some kids will find a work-around.

    Those are the actual hackers that advance civilization.

    When I was sitting my Applied Maths O-level in Yorkshire in the mid-1970s, they removed all four of the calculators (in all their LED wonderful redness) from the four of us who built them from an HP kit. Not one of the teachers even noticed the Sun Workstation on my hip. No, not that Sun, this Sun:

    I did not use it ... I didn't even realize I was wearing it until after I got home.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Some kids will find a work-around.

      Thanks for the reminder, jake - I had completely forgotten about those! Great tools once you'd learned to work them (which I only sort-of did).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dunno

    maybe they pressed the wrong button?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The internet is down

    In iraq the techies can no longer jokingly reply "well its working for me" or "What? All of it?".

    Sad times indeed.

  10. 404

    OOOH! Dinosaur Game!

    I'm on satellite so I see this often - my high score is 1830 :P

    (You see Mr Dinosaur, hit your space bar and jump over cacti, pterodactyls, maybe more, that's as far as I have been so far lol)

  11. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Gotta love dictatorships. Even if the dictate is symbolically spread across a few government officials.

    It's actually even worse than the UK.

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