This is believed to be the second year in a row that the government has blocked access to the internet in the days leading up to and during the exams.

Doug Madory, Dyn's internet analysis director, told Voactive: "There was certainly a lot of skepticism about this explanation last summer, but the outages did coincide with exams and nothing emerged to dispute the explanation."

A leaked email by Iraqi ISP, obtained by Lebanon based technology and human rights group SMEX, specified the timings of the outages.

As an anonymous source explained: "What happens usually is that some teachers would be giving the exams questions to students who pay money, then those students would sell online questions all over country.

In 2014, Uzbekistan enforced a nationwide internet outage to curb cheating.

Internet freedom activist group Access Now's senior global advocacy manager Deji Olukotun said: "We see this, especially in such a destabilized country as Iraq, as really terrible.

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