Ethiopia Blocks Internet Nationwide

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- The internet in Ethiopia has been blocked nationwide to prevent students from cheating on exams, according to government officials.

The shutdown began Tuesday with only a few offices in the African Union and the United Nations having access.

Last May, Ethiopia shut down the internet after exams, essays and other studious materials leaked online during nation-wide school exams. 

Mohammed Seid of the Office for Government Communications Affairs spoke to Reuters news agency about shutting down the internet.

“The shutdown is aimed at preventing a repeat of leaks that occurred last year. We want our students to concentrate and be free of the psychological pressure and distractions [social media] brings.”

Although Seid claims only social media has been blocked, according to BBC news sources in Ethiopia, there is a widespread internet disruption on fixed and mobile internet services.

Technology metrics, namely Google, have suggested a widespread blackout in internet has occurred since early Wednesday because of a significant drop in web traffic coming from Ethiopia.

The East African nation blocked the internet for several weeks last year during civil unrest between citizens and governmental agencies.