The reasons for the move can be traced back to 2016. That year, there was a very serious cheating in the college entrance examination, which was leaked on the Internet and spread crazily.
Last year, Algerian authorities asked isps (Internet service providers) to shut down social networks, but self-conscious measures alone were not enough to ensure enforcement. This year, says one security official, “Internet censorship will be better co-ordinated and more effective than ever”.
This was a problem that emerged even as the shiny new wonder was being showcased in the sands of Iraq and Kuwait. Despite the huge technological mismatch, it did not take Saddam Hussein’s forces long to discover that even relatively unsophisticated devices could drown out the GPS signal in radio noise. That vulnerability remains, but while in 1991 cell phone jammer GPS called for some degree of technical know-how and access to resources, 27 years later, plans off the internet and cheap, readily available hardware bring it within the range of almost anyone.
Also built-in is the ability to collect, analyse and jam new enemy signals as they occur, enabling the system to adjust in-flight to evolving threat profiles, and apply appropriate counter measures as the situation develops. Its agile 4G jammer flexibility is further extended by the deliberate choice of open architecture, solid-state electronics, which enables quick and easy updates to be made to its on-board threat library as and when required, to meet new hostile capabilities as they appear.
BBC reported that June 20-25 is the time for Algeria’s high school graduation exam. During this time, social networks across the country will be shut down for an hour after the exam begins to prevent it from leaking out.
Billed as the only operational tactical jamming fighter in the world, the Growler is a specialised version of the F/A18-F Super Hornet, and since achieving initial operational capability in September 2009, it has been equipped with the AN/ALQ-99 airborne EW system. The AN/ALQ-99 itself, however, can claim much older ancestry, having been designed in the late 1960s, and first fielded in 1971with the introduction of the EA-6 Prowler, the EW variant of the A-6 Intruder, in time to see combat service in Vietnam.