By
updated 3/30/2011 9:19:12 AM ET 2011-03-30T13:19:12

Amid widespread, violent protests in Libya, the country’s Internet has gone dark.

Web traffic dropped yesterday (March 3) at about 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, according to a Google Transparency Report. Experts believe the Libyan government is responsible.

This is the second time in two weeks Libya’s Internet has been taken offline; on Feb. 18, Libyans lost the Internet for about seven hours, the International Business Times reported.

Libya now joins ranks with Egypt, which had its Internet shut off Jan. 28 during a two-week revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak after a 30-year reign.

But James Cowie, chief technology officer at Internet consulting firm Renesys, said Libya’s Internet outage is different.

In Egypt, the government told Internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down their servers, Cowie told the International Business Times. In Libya, however, the servers are still active, but any data directed to a server gets sent to a “black hole route” and never reaches its destination.

“It’s like a post-apocalyptic scenario where the roads are there, there just isn’t any traffic,” Cowie said.

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