Friday morning, Syrian government blocked live streaming video broadcasted by Bambuser, a startup that has become popular in emerging markets due to it’s ability to be used on 320 different mobile devices, in areas with poor connections. During the Arab Spring protests throughout last year, anti-government activists were able to use the platform to great effect in documenting strife in the region, with a live stream from Homs recently being broadcast on BBC news.
Currently, when a Bambuser user attempts to access a video from Syria, they run into the following screen, where even archived Syrian footage appears to be blocked:
In January, Bambuser was blocked in Egypt to stifle the broadcast mass anti-government demonstrations, and the service has been cut in Bahrain for 6 months. In the past month, Bambuser video from Syria has increased, depicting bombings, government violence towards civilians and footage of decrepit field hospitals. Bambuser Chairman Hans Eriksson is not exactly sure how the Syrian government is blocking broadcasts, but goes on to say “we believe it really shows the true power of live video streaming and the confidence many activists have in our service,” according to Tech Crunch.
Recently, Syria had banned the iPhone, in an attempt to silence protestors, a more obvious device to attempt to block, yet somehow even the Nokia 6600 from 2003 is now on the list as a potential threat to the Syrian regime. It is evident that since Bambuser footage from the region had recently been streaming on CNN, BBC, AlJazeera, SkyNews and others, the government was prompted to shut it down. But Eriksson went on to say, “they (protestors) know the world is watching, sharing and it gives them hope.”