When Syria “disappeared” from the Internet last year, no one seemed to know exactly what had happened. Researchers later determined that the nearly-complete blocking of Internet traffic flowing and in and out of the country resulted from coordinated action by government actors. In an effort to develop more robust monitoring and analysis of events like this, the Canada-based SecDev Foundation is launching the Syria Digital Security Monitor, a site that maps and visualizes reports of disruption to critical infrastructure in Syria including internet, telecommunication, electricity and water, and reports on cyber threats.
The project is based on a crowdsourced effort that relies on reports by Syrians and extensive monitoring of Syrian social media. The data used for the monitor is captured in SecDev Foundation’s Ushahidi website and displayed on a visual timeline.
Additionally, the SecDev Foundation is sponsoring an ongoing project to support digital safety and security for Syrian civil society with resources in Arabic on secure communication tools as well as information on digital security and safety.