Iran's Internet Shutdown Sparks Fear of a Deadly Cover-Up

3 days ago 26

Iran started shutting the internet down on September 19 as protests around Amini’s death gained momentum. Since then, multiple internet-monitoring organizations, including Kentik, Netblocks, Cloudflare, and the Open Observatory of Network Interference, have documented the disruptions. Mobile network operators, including the country’s biggest providers—Irancell, Rightel, and MCI—have faced rolling blackouts, the groups say. Multiple mobile providers have lost connectivity for around 12 hours at a time, with Netblocks saying it has seen a “curfew-style pattern of disruptions.” Felicia Anthonio, who leads NGO Access Now’s fight against internet shutdowns, says the group’s partners have reported that text messages containing Amini’s name have been blocked. “If you’re sending a message containing that name, it doesn’t go through,” Anthonio says.

The clampdown against Instagram and WhatsApp started on September 21. While shutting down mobile connections is hugely disruptive, blocking access to WhatsApp and Instagram cuts off some of the only remaining social media services in Iran. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been banned for years. State-backed Iranian media said it was unclear h...

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