Iraq internet shutdowns

Iraq has continued its extraordinary policy of shutting down the entire country's internet in order to prevent exam cheating.

Several internet traffic observers including Akamai and Dyn Research have been amazed at the frequency this year however – no fewer than eight times in ten days, with the break coming at the weekend. Dyn even went to the trouble of listing which subjects were being taken on which day.

The shutdowns have become almost standard in the country and are driven by the fact that if 11-year-olds do not do well in their exams they are pulled out of school, something that then has a lifelong impact on their prospects.

As a result, the impetus to cheat is extremely high. Although many, including the United Nations, are not convinced that shutting down an entire country's internet is the best solution. ®

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