Algerian government blocks social media due to exam leaks
After a major leak, the Algerian government blocked access to social networks, thus affecting the entire population.
Algeria has temporarily blocked access to social networks all over the country to try to prevent the repeat of fraud that forced more than 550,000 students to retake their baccalaureate exam on Sunday. In early June, many candidates for this high school examination, which leads to higher education, received directly on their Facebook accounts answers to the exam questions before the tests, sparking a national scandal.
In an attempt to avoid a new leak of subjects before the examination, the authorities blocked access to Facebook and Twitter since Saturday 8:00 p.m. local. The cut should remain in force until the end of the new events June 23. This decision has a “direct relationship with the partial baccalaureate exams,” said a source in the telecommunications sector to the APS news agency.
Access to the internet also disrupted
As a result, millions of Algerians using social networks have seen interruption on Sunday. The internet was also disrupted. On Sunday morning, connection difficulties to the Google search engine appeared even though the authorities had assured yesterday that only social networks would be cut.
The authorities “have opted for the simplest solution,” lamented the expert in information technology and communication Younes Grar. “And if they were caught in time, they could have for example encrypt and print topics in each examination center instead of transporting them from Algiers to other regions of the country”, thus limiting the risk of leaks in a country 4 times larger than France.
According to official figures released Sunday, over 550,000 candidates on some 800,000 who had passed their baccalaureate early June must retake the tests. These include high school students in science subjects, mathematics and management.
Several countries in North Africa have been affected by fraud scandals in the baccalaureate this year. In Morocco, seven people suspected of wanting to disclose topics on the tray before the test had been arrested on June 6. In Egypt, subjects leaks on social networks before the tests have also caused a scandal.