Google faces calls to lift restraints so Iranian protesters can unite

Google faces calls to lift restraints so Iranian protesters can unite
Google faces calls to lift restraints so Iranian protesters can unite

Iran has shut down social media in an attempt to stop unrest from spreading widely as deadly anti-government protests continue across the country, the Daily Mail reported.

Authorities have blocked access to Instagram and the Telegram messaging app as part of a clamp down on its citizens' internet communications.

Meanwhile, Google has faced calls to lift restrictions on its services for internet users in Iran so that millions of protesters can 'connect and organize'.  

President Hassan Rouhani has insisted people are 'absolutely free' to express their anger but 'criticism is different to violence and destroying public property.' 

But the demonstrations, which have claimed 21 lives and led to 450 arrests so far, were fanned in part by messages sent on social media platforms prompting a black out of some services on Sunday. 

Telegram in particular is very popular in Iran, with more than 50 per cent of the country's 80m population said to be active on the app.

Iran state TV website reported the decision citing an anonymous source who said it was "in line with maintaining peace and security of the citizens."

The source said: "With a decision by the Supreme National Security Council, activities of Telegram and Instagram are temporarily limited."

Google meanwhile has been urged to lift internet restrictions in the country.

Steven Murdoch, a security researcher in the Computer Science Department, University College London, said that Google blocks users from Iran from accessing many of its services because of US sanctions.

But as a result, people have encountered difficulties trying to use counter-censorship apps such as Signal, which was set up to bypass blocking by disguising itself amongst Google's services.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden later tweeted: 'Many US politicians say they want to help Iranian protesters. If they're serious, one phone call could get Google to restore millions of protesters' ability to connect and organize.'

Google has not yet responded to requests for comments. 

Meanwhile the Iranian Mullah's regime leader Khamenei has blamed the country's 'enemies' on Tuesday for days of unrest that have seen 21 killed and hundreds arrested in the biggest test for the Iranian regime in years.

In a speech carried on state television Khamenei broke his silence on the protests for the first time since they erupted last Thursday.

'The enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons, policies and security services to create problems for the  (Shia) Islamic regime,' Khamenei said.

'The enemy is always looking for an opportunity and any crevice to infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation.'

For the sixth straight day, protesters have been pouring onto streets across Iran, demanding the change of the entire regime. 

Iranian citizens express their rage over the Mullah's regime crimes and schemes that deteriorated the economic, social and other situations of the citizens.

Last Modified: 01 03 2018 12:31 PM

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