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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

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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.

The final step was taken on Saturday (November 16), when the government shutdown nearly all internet access in the country. With the initiation of a nation-wide internet blackout, Iran is attempting to control the protests as well as the world’s impression of events transpiring in the nation.

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.

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.

The country has reportedly shut down nearly all internet access in the country in retaliation to escalating protests that were originally. The protests arose in response to a decision by the state to raise the price of gas in the country by 50%. As this AP article points out, Iran has some of the

The "largest internet shutdown ever observed in Iran " is happening right now in response to ongoing protests sparked by a sudden rise in fuel prices late last week. The nationwide blackout appears to be an attempt by the Iranian government to prevent people from organizing protests and disseminating

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

Russia claims it has successfully tested its own internet .
Russia has ramped up the balkanization of its technology and infrastructure over the past few months. The government's "sovereign internet" law -- which allows content to be blocked in an "emergency situation" -- took effect in November, and President Vladimir Putin recently signed a law that bans the sale of devices without pre-installed Russian apps. Today, Russia's Ministry of Communications announced that it has successfully tested a countrywide alternative to the internet, according to the BBC.

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