Tech

Iran restricts access to WhatsApp and Instagram in response to Mahsa Amini’s protests


Iran has blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp as the government tries to stop protests that began last week after the death of a woman at the hands of local authorities. As of Wednesday, protests across the country had taken place for four consecutive days. Protests started at the end of the week after the age of 22 died in the custody of Iran’s ethics police on September 16. She was arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

Based on (through the ), the Iranian government has been gradually restricting web access across most of the country in recent days. The blackout began in Tehran and other parts of Iran when protests first broke out on Friday. On the evening of September 19, the government extended the restrictions to parts of the western province of Kurdistan. As of Wednesday, accessing WhatsApp and Instagram through any of the country’s major internet providers is not possible. According to NetBlocks, the current restrictions are the most severe since 2019, when Iran in response to fuel protests.

Meta did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. NetBlocks argues that the disruption has the potential to significantly limit the ability of the Iranian people to communicate freely. In theory, the Iranian government might believe that restricting internet access would reduce the ability to organize protests and allow the country to better control the story of Amini’s death.

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