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Technology Iran shuts down nearly all internet access in response to fuel protests

21:40  17 november  2019
21:40  17 november  2019 Source:   engadget.com

Protests strike Iran cities over gasoline prices rising

  Protests strike Iran cities over gasoline prices rising Protests struck several Iranian cities early Saturday over the government cutting back on gasoline subsidies and increasing costs by 50%, demonstrations ranging from people abandoning their cars in traffic to trying to attack an oil depot in one city. © Provided by The Associated Press Vehicles queue to enter a gas station in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Authorities have imposed rationing and increased the prices of fuel. The decision came following months of speculations about possible rationing after the U.S.

Iran is trying an all-too-familiar tactic to hinder protests: cut the lines of communication. The Iranian government has shut down nearly all internet access in the country amidst mounting protests that began over a 50 percent hike in fuel prices and now encompass wider dissent. There are pockets of access that have let people show what's happening on the ground, but they're rare. Phone calls abroad still work, but those are also closely monitored.

a group of people on a sidewalk

The government hasn't formally acknowledged the internet shutdown.

As in past instances of country-wide internet blackouts, Iran is attempting to control both the protests themselves and the world's impression of what's going on. In theory, this reduces the chances of protesters organizing and posing a greater threat to the country's rulers. At the same time, it becomes that much harder to share news and illustrate the scope of the protests.

Iran's internet has been shut down for days amid protests

  Iran's internet has been shut down for days amid protests A government-imposed internet blackout continues after more than 90 hours.NetBlocks, an internet access watchdog, said access to internet in Iran via fixed-line and mobile providers has been almost entirely cut off since Saturday.

Unfortunately, this appears to be part of a larger trend around the world. Both India and Pakistan have shut down internet access in the hotly disputed territory of Kashmir in recent months, while Russia recently gave itself the power to shut down the internet at will. Internet shutdowns are quickly becoming weaponized, and that's unlikely to change as long as the leadership remains the same.

NetBlocks

Government-led internet shutdowns cost the global economy $8 billion in 2019, research says .
Deliberate internet shutdowns cost the global economy more than $8 billion last year, according to a new report. © Provided by CNBCResearch published Tuesday by internet research firm Top10VPN analyzed the economic impact of internet shutdowns around the world throughout 2019. The cost of internet blackouts were calculated on Netblocks' and the Internet Society's cost of shutdown tool, which uses indicators from the World Bank, International Telecommunication Union, Eurostat and U.S. Census Bureau.

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