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Internet turned off in Iraq to combat students cheating on exams


National-scale connectivity disruptions have been registered in Iraq, marking the first day of student exams. The Iraqi government is known for turning off fixed-line and mobile broadband services as a measure to combat cheating during state exams.

As the scheduled final exams commenced on June 1st, Iraq experienced a widespread internet disruption across the country.

Turning off the internet seems to be the Iraqi government’s go-to solution to thwart students from smuggling mobile phones into state tests and curb cheating in exams. Disruptions of similar types were also registered during previous years.

Similar situation in Syria

Iraq is not the only country to experience internet outages. Global network monitoring company NetBlocks registered wide scale disruptions to internet connectivity in Syria, starting on 24th May.

Network outages were noticed from 4 a.m., lasting approximately four hours daily. The outages could be linked with the commencement of national practical and lab exams.

Creates negative impact

Reportedly, some countries’ governments worldwide enforce internet shutdowns during educational examinations, using the rationale of curbing malpractices. However, such practice is criticized as creating a negative impact, disrupting digital economies and undermining democratic principles

“These acts, often severe and prolonged, disrupt digital rights, impede access to information, and create a ripple effect impacting social, economic, and civic life,”

states Netblocks in their report.

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