Despite promises of human rights reform, not much has changed since Bashar al-Assad took office. For nearly a decade, he successfully suppressed internal dissention, due mostly to the close relationship between the Syrian military and intelligence agencies. In 2006, Syria expanded its use of travel bans against dissidents, preventing many from entering or leaving the country. In 2007, the Syrian Parliament passed a law requiring all comments on chat forums to be posted publicly. In 2008, and again in 2011, social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook were blocked. Human rights groups have reported that political opponents of Bashar al-Assad are routinely tortured, imprisoned and killed. (...) Following successful regime change in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, protests began in Syria on January 26, 2011, demanding political reforms, a reinstatement of civil rights (...) no change came, and the protests continued. (...) In June 2012, a UN official stated that the uprisings had transitioned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict continues, with daily reports of the killing of scores of civilians by government forces. (...) In August 2013, he has come under fire from leaders around the world, including U.S. president Barack Obama and British prime minister David Cameron, for using chemical weapons against civilians. This action resulted in the deaths of women and children, and some Western countries are debating what steps should be taken against al-Assad and his regime.