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Iran blocks Telegram and Instagram amid widespread protests in the country
12 January 2018, 09:39 | Melissa Porter
Telegram Shuts Down Channel Promoting Violence Against Iran's Government
Zam, who denies the allegations, meanwhile launched new channels to spread messages about upcoming protests and share videos from demonstrations.
"Usually it's the afternoon, when people go out and join the protests", he said.
The protests first began on Thursday in the city of Mashhad and quickly spread like wildfire across the nation.
"The enemy wants once again to create a new plot and use social media and economic issues to foment a new sedition", cleric Ayatollah Mohsen Araki told crowds, the Times of Israelreported, citing Fars.
Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein said on Tuesday that the United States wants Iran to "open these sites", per the New York Daily.
The authorities appeared to respond by temporarily cutting internet access to mobile phones, but full coverage was eventually restored.
In a December 31 blog post, Pavel Durov, chief executive of Telegram, which is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, wrote that the company had previously complied with requests by the Iranian government to shut down access to "channels" that called for violence during the protests.
Iranian authorities have previously permitted Telegram because of the messaging service's use of local (closed) content delivery networks, a technical decision that has attracted both concern and calls for greater transparency from human rights advocates.
Pavel Durov, Founder & CEO of Telegram, tweeted saying "Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down t.me/sedaiemardom and other peacefully protesting channels".
Durov said that the public channel @amadnews was suspended after participants were found to be promoting violence.
'Telegram will face increasing pressure over time to collaborate with the Iranian government's demands for this or that, ' Snowden wrote on Twitter. But, he added, the company "refused to shut down channels of peaceful Iranian protesters". Most would say "of course". "Most would say 'of course.' It's more important to keep that tether to their ecosystem alive, right?" wrote the former NSA employee, who is now resident in Russian Federation, in a chain of messages. They're in something close to a monopoly position, where the fallback for many is unsafe SMS., he said in multiple tweets. We are proud that Telegram is used by thousands of massive opposition channels all over the world. Some presumed I just don't understand how channels work.
Government officials have accused social media platforms of fueling dissent and emboldening protesters. Now, the latest country to put restrictions on the Internet is Iran, the second most populous country in the Middle-east. "Independent verification of facts (is) hard to come by, "said CNN".
But much has changed in the intervening years when it comes to the communication tools used by Iranian citizens for organizing and publicizing protests.
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