Exam Cheats Cited in Three-Day Internet Shutdown in Ethiopia

Exam Cheats Cited in Three-Day Internet Shutdown in Ethiopia

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(bloomberg)—Ethiopian authorities shut down the Internet for a third day to prevent students from cheating in national examinations.

Access to the web was “totally cut off” on Tuesday morning, and there’s been only an intermittent restoration of services since then, according to NetBlocks, an advocacy group that monitors cybersecurity. “It is believed to be a measure to counter cheating,” it said.

A 2017 study by the Uganda-based Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa found that Internet shutdowns in sub-Saharan Africa cost the region as much as $237 million since 2015. Countries on the continent, including Zimbabwe, have previously disrupted connectivity to quell unrest during disputed elections.

It’s not the first time Ethiopia has restricted connectivity during exams. Two years ago, the Horn of Africa nation went offline for similar reasons.

Calls to state monopoly Ethiopia Telecom Corp. seeking comment weren’t answered.

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