Disruptions to internet connectivity were reported across Algeria on Sunday, September 13, with access to popular social media sites and messaging services being blocked. Although no official explanation for the disruption has been provided by the government, the outages come as students across the country prepare to sit baccalaureate exams in the coming days. In previous years, the Algerian government has reportedly restricted mobile internet services and blocked access to social media sites and messaging applications during the exam period to prevent the sharing of exam papers and other misconduct by students. The current baccalaureate exam period began on Sunday and is expected to run until Thursday, September 17.
Further disruptions to internet services are likely in the near term during the exam period.
Algerian authorities have taken a strong proactive approach to prevent misconduct during the annual baccalaureate exams since the leaking of exam papers online in 2016 forced thousands of students to resit the tests. In subsequent years, widespread internet service disruptions have been reported as authorities apparently attempt to block access to social media sites, including via virtual private networks (VPNs), whilst students sit the high school exams. Tough legislation has also been brought in in recent years to prevent exam misconduct, with students facing sentences of up to 15 years in prison if caught cheating or sharing exam papers.
Those in Algeria are advised to monitor developments regarding internet service disruptions and should review communications and business continuity plans in light of the outages.
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