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Iran blocks Internet to black out protests

Several sources in Iran have told Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) that the authorities have again been blocking the Internet and mobile phone networks since the start of a big protest at 3 p.m. on February 20. Internet connections have been slowed right down or entirely disconnected in certain neighbourhoods in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashad, making it hard or impossible to browse or send emails. SMS services have been cut since midday on February 20 in several regions, preventing use of Twitter.

There has been heavy jamming of the BBC and Voice of America, while it has become very hard to access Gmail, AOL and Yahoo! in several regions.

Cyber-attacks on independent news websites and opposition sites are continuing. The Voice of America website was temporarily taken offline on February 21 after Iran’s “Cyber Army” hacked into it and posted its own messages. The Cyber Army’s creation was announced on May 20, 2010 by Ebrahim Jabari, one of the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards. It has been responsible for acts of censorship against websites and networks deemed to be “destructive” and for the arrests of hundreds of netizens. Its website targets have included Twitter and Radio Zamaneh.

Date posted: February 23, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 143