2019 Internet blackout in Iran

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Iranian Internet shutdown
2019 Iranian fuel protests Fars News (1).jpg
Native name قطعی سراسری اینترنت
Date16 – 23 November 2019
DurationOne week
LocationIran
Cause2019 Iranian protests
TargetIranian Internet users
Organised bySNSC, MICT
OutcomeLimited connection after one week
Property damage$1.5 Billion[1]

The 2019 Internet blackout in Iran was a week-long[2] total shutdown of Internet. It was ordered by Supreme National Security Council and imposed by the Ministry of ICT. The blackout was one of the Iranian government's efforts to suppress fuel protests.[3] During the blackout, Iranian citizens could only access the National Information Network.[4][5] Mohammad-Javad Jahromi was sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury because of his role in Internet censorship in Iran.[6][7]

Extent[edit]

The 2019 blackout was the most wide-scale internet shutdown ever in Iran.[8][9] It was "the most severe disconnection tracked by NetBlocks in any country in terms of its technical complexity and breadth."[2] Although It was a near-total shutdown, top Iranian politicians still had access to the Internet.[8] The 2019 blackout was the first-ever and longest total Internet shutdown in a large country.[10] It was also the first blackout that effectively isolated a whole nation.[11]

Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Oracle, has described the operation as "unusual in its scale" and way more advanced.[12][13]

Iranians usually use VPNs to access social media, but none of them worked during the shutdown. As a result of that, some people used Toosheh to get news and other Internet-related content.[14][15]

Execution[edit]

It took 24 hours for MICT to cut off people's access to the Internet. The ministry had to order a range of ISPs and mobile data providers to stop providing users with international network and connect to NIN.[10][12] Some providers withdrew their routes from the Internet and some continued to announce routes but block traffic.[13]

Although Global network was not accessible, Local services including banks, state-run messaging apps, and ride-hailing apps continued to operate through National Information Network. State-owned search engines and navigation apps were also enabled.[16][17]

Timeline and statistics[edit]

Users first reported minor outages in Mashhad on 15 November. The disruptions increased in extent and severity with impact also visible on overall connectivity charts. Iran's largest mobile network operators, including MCI, Rightel and Irancell, fell offline on the evening of 16 November .The Internet blocking gradually increased until the country reached the point of total shutdown. By 20 November, national connectivity was at 5% of ordinary levels.[18]

On 23 November, NetBlocks reported that "Internet access is being restored in Iran and connectivity levels have risen to 64%".[2]

Impact[edit]

Iranians couldn't contact their friends and families abroad through the Internet.[3][19] Hundreds of currency exchanges and travel agencies closed down.[20] Movie ticket sales dropped 60%.[21] Estimates of total damage to the economy range from $1 billion to $1.5 billion.[1][17] The Washington Post reported that the blackout has had a severe impact on start-ups and small businesses.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Iran's internet shutdown could be harbinger of something even darker to come, experts warn". The Independent. 2019-11-30. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  2. ^ a b c "Internet being restored in Iran after week-long shutdown". NetBlocks. 2019-11-23. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  3. ^ a b Hjelmgaard, Kim. "'Tool of repression': Iran and regimes from Ethiopia to Venezuela limit Internet, go dark online". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2019-11-27. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  4. ^ Gilbert, David (2019-11-19). "Iran Turned Off the Internet to Shut Down Protests, and No One Knows When It's Coming Back On". Vice. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  5. ^ correspondent, Michael Safi Middle East (2019-11-21). "Iran's digital shutdown: other regimes 'will be watching closely'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2019-11-25. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  6. ^ "Treasury Designates Iran's Minister of Information and Communications Technology in View of the Regime's Repressive Internet Censorship | U.S. Department of the Treasury". home.treasury.gov. Archived from the original on 2019-11-22. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  7. ^ Sun, Mengqi. "U.S. Blacklists Iran's Minister of Information and Communications Technology". WSJ. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  8. ^ a b "How Iran's Government Shut Off the Internet". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on 2019-11-24. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  9. ^ Fassihi, Farnaz (2019-11-17). "Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2019-11-25. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  10. ^ a b Anderson, Finbar (2019-11-23). "Iran's internet blackout: What is happening, and why did the government turn it off?". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  11. ^ Bajak, Frank. "Iran's internet blackout the first to effectively isolate a whole nation". www.timesofisrael.com. Archived from the original on 2019-11-27. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  12. ^ a b Ivana Kottasová and Sara Mazloumsaki. "What makes Iran's internet blackout different". CNN. Archived from the original on 2019-11-21. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  13. ^ a b Madory, Doug. "Historic Internet Blackout in Iran". blogs.oracle.com. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  14. ^ "چگونه می‌توان قطعی اینترنت در ایران را دور زد؟ | DW | 19.11.2019". Deutsche Welle Persian (in Persian). Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  15. ^ "کلیک‌باز: چگونه در زمان قطعی اینترنت، به اخبار دسترسی پیدا کنیم؟" [How To Get News When an Internet Shutdown Happens?]. BBC Persian (in Persian). 2019-11-24. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  16. ^ "In Iran, state-sanctioned messaging apps are the new hallmark of internet nationalization". Global Voices Advocacy. 2018-10-24. Archived from the original on 2019-11-21. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  17. ^ a b "After internet blackout, Iranians take stock". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  18. ^ "Internet disrupted in Iran amid fuel protests in multiple cities". NetBlocks. 15 November 2019. Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  19. ^ Skinner, Helena (2019-11-22). "How did Iran's government pull the plug on the Internet?". euronews. Archived from the original on 2019-11-27. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  20. ^ "خسارت قطعی اینترنت در ایران". Asre-e-Iran (in Persian). Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  21. ^ "تازه‌ترین آمار فروش فیلم‌ها همزمان با قطعی اینترنت" [Latest Box Office Numbers During Internet Shutdown]. Iranian Labour News Agency (in Persian). Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  22. ^ Europe, Rick Noack closeRick NoackForeign affairs reporter focusing on; securityEmailEmailBioBioFollowFollow, international. "Analysis | Iranians protested. Then, the Internet was cut, in a new global pattern of digital crackdown". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2019-11-22. Retrieved 2019-11-30.