Libya Firewall Begins to Crumble?
In what may be an indicator of the rapidly evolving political situation within Libya, Internet traffic in and out of the country climbed over the weekend. Previously, Internet traffic volumes had been operating at 60-80% of normal as the Libyan government reportedly blocked social media and popular video sites after the start of the popular uprising on February 18th.
While media reports and Twitter updates suggest social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) are still blocked in Tripoli, other cities may now have broader Internet connectivity. Twitter updates (see below) appear to confirm the return of a more open Internet to eastern Libya.
Most Libya Internet traffic flows through the state telecom (LTT / AS21003) and then transits out of the country via three main European / Asian providers. The AS21003 network likely includes multiple datacenters and routers in several different Libyan major cities including Benghazi. More information on the network (including the hosting business) is available on the LTT web site at http://www.ltt.ly/en/.
The below graph shows traffic based on ATLAS GeoIP statistics across sixty or more ISPs around the world. A graph of traffic through AS21003 exhibits similar trends.
Other data sets, including Google's transparency report show a similar increase.
On related note, the LA Times ran an interesting piece this weekend on Libyans smuggling cell phone video to Egypt to upload reports about the ongoing uprising.