Dictators and despots ruling Middle Eastern and North African countries appear to have acquired an unfortunate new habit: Shutting down internet service to quell popular protests. Just as in Egypt and Libya, the beleaguered president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, has ordered the internet cut off in large swaths of the country. It is believed to be the first time this has happened in Syria since protests against the current regime began this March. According to the Washington Post, 50,000 protesters took to the streets today to call for al-Assad's resignation.

[The Washington Post via Tech Crunch]