Iran cuts off internet access in several cities as mass protests continue

Iran Blocks Instagram and Telegram after Protests

Telegram's "public channels" are an important source of news for many in Iran partly because competing services such as Twitter and Facebook have long since been blocked.

Durov replied a few hours later, saying they would block such a channel, "regardless of its size and political affilitation" due to it calling for violence. Authorities are temporarily blocking Telegram and Instagram to "maintain peace", according to the AP.

On Wednesday, Communications Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi warned that the ban could become permanent if Telegram refused to suspend "terrorist channels".

What happens next could influence the future course of the largest protests Iran has seen since 2009.

"Telegram will face increasing pressure over time to collaborate with the Iranian government's demands for this or that".

But this is not the end of it. Durov noted that even though the @amadnews channel was suspended, the admins were able to start a new channel only that this time they are advocating for peaceful ways to air their dissent.

Following the social unrest across Iran, starting on Thursday, the government started blocking access to social networks and messaging apps including Telegram and Instagram, while some controls were also put on Iranians' access to the Internet.

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January 1, 2018 (EIRNS)-With protests continuing in Iran for a fourth day, smaller than those of 2009 and some involving armed demonstrators, recommendations for caution from experts on the region are not being heeded by the Trump Administration.

In the past, some Iranians have found ways to get around government restrictions by using tools that evaded Iran's censorship technology.

Mostafa, an Iranian student whose last name has been withheld out of concerns for his safety, told CNN that getting around filtering and censorship was a priority - and that he was using a Chinese anti-filtering app to circumvent the ban.

"Telegram channels are frequently used for organizing protests and for sharing political opinion", said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Iranian authorities are wary of social media, which has fuelled prior protests, and a year ago declared their intent to eventually restrict the country's internet users to a national intranet.

"Iran's own strict regime of internet filters, but also US sanctions limiting the transfer and sale of technology and security products, are likely contributing factors that mean the choke points are still an effective mechanism for mass control", Toker said.

More importantly, they subscribe to public channels to get the news that is not available on state media. Telegram was reported to have moved some of its servers in the country although the company denied the claims. Since there is a lot of Government influence on the traditional media, the social media has been very popular in the country.

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