Although 40 minutes isn't so long, it had serious effects, explains internet monitoring firm Renesys:
For about 40 minutes today, all networks routed through the Syrian incumbent, Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (AS29256 and AS29386), were withdrawn from the global routing table, effectively cutting off most of Syria from the Internet.
It's unclear why exactly the regime chose to hit the switch exactly when it did and for only 40 minutes.
That could've been aeons for people who are currently waging open rebellion against their tyrannical leader, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The internet was instrumental in Libya's own revolution, and it's easy to imagine a free conduit to the rest of the planet would be just as useful for Syrian's freedom fighters, if only to keep up the steady YouTube stream of massacres. [Renesys via Spencer Ackerman]