Syria Opens Facebook, YouTube for First Time in Five Years

By Nicholas Jackson

The Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), Syria's state-owned Internet Service Provider (ISP), asked distributors to remove the firewall that blocks access to Facebook and YouTube. The changes should come into effect at some point today.

The decision comes in the wake of a recent social popular uprise throughout the Arab nation against repressive regimes which has been creating instability in repressive countries, which President Bashar Al-Assad  told the Wall Street Journal last week that Syria didn't have to worry about.

"Syria is stable. Why?" Mr. Assad said. "Because you have to be very closely linked to the beliefs of the people. This is the core issue. When there is divergence...you will have this vacuum that creates disturbances."

Ever since utilizing the social platforms by Syrian opposition (characterized by the Syrian Kurdish minority) in 2007, YouTube & Facebook have been marked unfriendly to the Syrian regime (and in effect the Syrian people), which forced Syrian people to reach them using proxies and VPNs.

Other websites like Amazon and Wikipedia have yet to share the blessed unblock, which we hope will change in the near future.

Read the full story at The Next Web.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/02/syria-opens-facebook-youtube-for-first-time-in-five-years/70929/