World: Iranians grapple with internet outages amid protests - - PressFrom - Australia
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World Iranians grapple with internet outages amid protests

23:27  21 november  2019
23:27  21 november  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Iran 's internet is slowly returning after a six-day blackout that left the country with little way of communicating amid widespread Protests erupted across the country after Iran ’s government announced Friday that it was going to start rationing gasoline and increase fuel prices by 50 percent.

Iran ’s largest mobile network operators including MCI, Rightel and IranCell subsequently fell offline as of 6:00 pm (14:30 UTC) Saturday amid worsening internet shutdowns as the protests intensified. Update: 24 hours after Iran implemented a near-total internet shutdown following several hours of

a man and a woman sitting on a bench: Image: Internet service disrupted in Iran© Abadin Taherkenareh Image: Internet service disrupted in Iran

Iran's internet is slowly returning after a six-day blackout that left the country with little way of communicating amid widespread demonstrations over rising fuel prices.

Protests erupted across the country after Iran's government announced Friday that it was going to start rationing gasoline and increase fuel prices by 50 percent. Reports of casualties linked to the government's crackdown are mixed, but human rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday it believes more than 100 people have been killed during the protests.

Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access

  Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access Iran imposed an almost complete nationwide internet blackout on Sunday one of its most draconian attempts to cut off Iranians from each other and the rest of the world as widespread anti-government unrest roiled the streets of Tehran and other cities for a third day.  The death toll for the three days of protests rose to at least 12; hundreds were injured; and more than 1,000 people have been arrested, according to semiofficial news agencies like Fars News.

Iranian officials say 12 protesters and members of Iran ’s security forces have died and more than 600 people have been arrested. But the UN put the Reports out of Iran confirm widespread and diffuse protests but the shutdown of the internet combined with tight state controls on the media make the

Iran has implemented a near-total internet blackout amid nationwide protests against rising fuel prices. The shutdown began on Friday after Iranian protesters gather around a fire during a demonstration against an increase in gasoline prices in the capital Tehran at the weekend ( AFP via

At its lowest point, Iran's connectivity to the outside world fell to 4 percent of ordinary levels, according to the nonprofit group Netblocks, which monitors worldwide internet access.

"The ongoing disruption is the most severe recorded in Iran since President [Hassan] Rouhani came to power, and the most severe disconnection tracked by NetBlocks in any country in terms of its technical complexity and breadth," Alp Toker, the director of Netblocks, wrote on the organization's website.

Iran's internet began to come back online Thursday, according to Reuters and local news agencies.

Rouhani said in a meeting with Cabinet members Nov. 15 that the price hike was meant to collect money for low-income people who have been hit by the country's economic struggles. The justification didn't soothe frustrated Iranians, who took to the streets in several major cities Friday afternoon, using their cars to block roads and highways.

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Iranian authorities have cut internet access nationwide amid the protests . The Iranian government has previously blocked specific websites or slowed internet traffic, but this outage constitutes the longest and most complete cut of service in the country, according to a report by Oracle Internet

Iranians protested . Then, the Internet was cut, in a new global pattern of digital crackdown. For much of the week, Iran ’s Internet connectivity was flatlined at 5 percent of usual levels, with the remaining capacity largely used by government servers or regime-aligned news outlets.

U.S. sanctions brought in after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal have strangled the Iranian economy. Under these sanctions, all U.S. companies are banned from doing business with Iran.

Governments around the world have moved in recent years to limit or cut off internet access during times of civil strife. In the last few months, the governments of Iraq, Algeria and Venezuela have cut off internet access in their countries during intense uprisings.

Toker said that they started to notice mobile and fixed-line outages in Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and other cities in which citizens were protesting Friday.

Because the outages did not have a national impact at that point, evidence collected by Netblocks indicated that those cities were being specifically targeted in order to make it more challenging for people to organize, Toker said.

'I worry my family is in danger': Iran's internet blackout sparks anxiety in Australia

  'I worry my family is in danger': Iran's internet blackout sparks anxiety in Australia Iranian-Australians are concerned for their loved ones' safety, as the Government implements an internet blackout across the country, amid hundreds of protests.Damoon Jehani has not spoken to his family in Iran for more than seven months, but with the country's Government imposing a media blackout and dozens of protesters being reportedly shot dead he fears it could be even longer before he hears their voices again.

The people of Iran are currently experiencing a near-complete internet shutdown as the regime seeks to disrupt widespread fuel-price protests . The decision to shut down the country’s internet has been taking in a shameless attempt to try and prevent protestors from being able to organise themselves.

Iran 's internet blackout has entered its fifth day as the government continues to restrict citizens' access to the web amid protests over fuel price hikes. Mass protests erupted in multiple Iranian cities after the government announced on Friday it would ration gasoline and raise prices by at least 50%.

As protests intensified into Saturday, Iran's largest mobile network operators all fell offline, leaving people inside the country with little to no means of communicating online. The outage has also meant little information about the protests has made it out of Iran over the past few days.

Iranians living abroad have reported trouble reaching family back home.

"Like most Iranians, we have a family WhatsApp group," Arash Azizi, a doctoral student at New York University, said on Twitter. " My grandmother, when she gets up for her morning prayers at around 5 a.m., always starts the day by wishing us a good morning "under the care of God. The group has now been silent for 3 days and it eats me from the inside."

a group of people riding on the back of a boat: Image: People protest against increased gas price, on a highway in Tehran© Nazanin Tabatabaee Image: People protest against increased gas price, on a highway in Tehran

Azizi told NBC News that he had finally received some news from his family through family friends who reached them via a landline. He added that the phone lines were also not working very well.

Iranians are used to censorship and internet disruptions but not on this scale. In 2009 and 2011, the government used bandwidth throttling to quell protesters. The internet was painfully slow, but Iranians were still able to connect to the outside world. They could also rely on VPNs, and other digital tools to get around censored websites and social platforms.

The ongoing disruption was also complex in a way that analysts say they have never seen before. The government managed to pull most of the country offline, all the while keeping their critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and banks, up and running with their via the government's local network.

The minister of telecommunications told reporters Monday that the government's network, known as the National Information Network (NIN), "had made significant progress" and that the internet would be restored "soon"

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