The Algerian regime does it again: it blocks Internet access for the whole country to secure a pointless high-school exam

Posted On 14 September 2020

From Shield & Alert:
Algeria: 3 arrested for support to terror groups, more insurgent hideouts and IEDs found in north-central and northeastMorocco: Anti-terror raids continue in Temara, police find traces of explosivesAlgeria: Senior Algerian Health Ministry official recognizes state of filth in public hospitalsTunisia: Education sector experiencing new outbreaks of Covid-19, many schools closingLibya: 18 Italian fishermen still detained in Benghazi, Haftar won’t support their release until four Libyans in Italian prison are freedMorocco: Nurses and hospital technicians in nationwide protest over work conditions, wages, and government inactionAlgerian authorities block access to Internet and VPN ports over insignificant high-school testNiger: Two Niger soldiers killed in an unclaimed attack in Assamaka, near border with AlgeriaMali: Deadly violence intensifies in Sikasso at border with BurkinaMali: Army intensifies counter-insurgency operations in Mopti and SegouLibya: More Haftar reinforcement and military buildup seen in southern SirteNumber of Tunisians crossing the Med Sea to Italy more than quadrupled from last year in AugustMorocco: Five arrested in counter-terror operationMorocco: 14 arrested in Rabat for breaching anti-virus rulesTunisia: Oil companies in south warn president of imminent halt in their activity due to persistent unrestMorocco: Police arrest dozens for unruly behavior during religious holidayAlgeria: New regime deconstructs era of late army chief Gaid Salah, his children are now target of judicial attackAlgeria: Second mild quake in a week hits Tipaza provinceMorocco: Deluge of bankruptcies faces Moroccan businesses as economic activity stallsMorocco’s weak economic data: First half 2020’s tourism receipts down by third, cement sales down 19.5%

Algerians were unable to access social media accounts on Sunday as students sat national exams in the North African country where authorities are cracking down on cheating. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp were inaccessible, an AFP journalist said, while the internet faced disruptions across the country. The move came a day after the justice ministry announced that a teenager had been sentenced to one year in jail for having shared the results of an Arabic-language test online. The boy was sentenced Wednesday by a court in the northeastern city of Guelma in line with a penal code amendment adopted in April that criminalised cheating during the brevet and baccalaureate examinations, usually taken at the end of secondary and high school, respectively.

After a spike in cheating during national exams in recent years, authorities in the North African country adopted legislation under which those found guilty of wrongdoing could face up to 15 years in jail. According to the justice ministry, courts in Algeria have begun to hand down jail sentences to individuals accused of having leaked exam papers or results during the brevet earlier this month.

In 2016, authorities temporarily blocked access to social networks to prevent cheating after leaked papers forced hundreds of thousands of students to resit the baccalaureate exam. Authorities then arrested dozens of people, including the heads of national exam centres and teachers on suspicion of leaking the final exam papers. There was no official comment Sunday from authorities or telecom officials on the internet disruptions and the lack of access to social networks. The baccalaureate exams, which began Sunday, are due to last until September 17.


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