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Iran Cuts Internet Access and Threatens Telegram Following Mass Protests (bbc.com) 156

Long-time Slashdot reader cold fjord writes: As seething discontent has boiled over in Iran leading to mass protests, protesters have taken to the streets and social media to register their discontent... The government has been closing schools and shutting down transportation.

Now, as mass protests in Iran go into their third day there are reports that internet access is being cut in cities with protests occurring. Social media has been a tool for documenting the protests and brutal crackdowns against them. Iran previously cut off internet access during the Green Movement protests following the 2009 elections. At the same time the Iranian government is cutting internet access they have called on Telegram, reportedly used by more than 40 million Iranians, to close the channels used by protesters. Telegram is now closing channels used by the protesters while Telegram itself may be shut down in Iran.

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Iran Cuts Internet Access and Threatens Telegram Following Mass Protests

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thank FCC, you caused this!!

  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Saturday December 30, 2017 @10:34PM (#55837037)

    ... Brexit and learn, America!

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Saturday December 30, 2017 @10:35PM (#55837041) Homepage Journal

    Threatens telegram? Something like this:

    Stop rioting stop if you don't there'll be bother stop
    END OF MESSAGE 53 LETTERS 17 CENTS

  • Leave them alone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Saturday December 30, 2017 @11:02PM (#55837099)
    Iran was once a democracy until they elected the "wrong" leader and America and Britain fixed it by putting in the Shah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    As long as the rank and file soldiers and police don't feel that the internal turmoil in Iran won't be exploited by outside forces they likely will tolerate peaceful protests. There is a good chance the Iranian leadership won't order any kind of crack down for fear the police won't obey them. If the rest of the worlds leaders can resist opening their mouths there is a good chance Iran can be another success story like Tunisia.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As long as the rank and file soldiers and police don't feel that the internal turmoil in Iran won't be exploited by outside forces they likely will tolerate peaceful protests.

      Which is really irrelevant because the IRGC will enforce with force any subversion that made lead away from the current Islamic Republic. Basically, imagine if the KKK had been institutionalized in the US during the 50s and 60s. That's not something that would be magically fixed with peaceful protests (or at least, not without a lot

    • ...and terrorists, as used in Ukraine, [zerohedge.com] Libya, [nytimes.com] and Syria. [independent.co.uk] Prominent politicians including Howard Dean [salon.com] have lobbied for MEK, which was on the State Department's list of terror groups until people started asking why people like Dean weren't being prosecuted, when the government sent someone to prison for carrying a Hezbollah TV channel. Iran has been on the "regime change" list since they kicked out the Shah. Obama spent years [salon.com] threatening to attack Iran for a nuclear weapons program he knew they didn't have

      • Obama spent years threatening to attack Iran for a nuclear weapons program he knew they didn't have

        But instead dropped off a plane-load of gold and cash. To find a nuclear weapons program very much alive and well, thank you very much - or did you really imagine North Korea has developed all this nuclear weapon tech on it's own, currently targeted to sit inside the Iranian built missiles they have been flying? How blind do you have to be to miss that link?

        Obama spent years threatening to attack Iran for a

        • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

          But instead dropped off a plane-load of gold and cash.

          Their own gold and cash we had stolen from them after they dared rebel against the CIA-installed dictator.

          To find a nuclear weapons program very much alive and well, thank you very much

          Never happened. When even Mossad [timesofisrael.com] will tell you Iran had no nuclear weapons program, why do you American Exceptionalists even bother pretending otherwise?

      • Moonofalabama says yes, aggressive foreign instigation. There still is a degree of deniability, and as usual there are also valid reasons for the protests.
        http://www.moonofalabama.org/2... [moonofalabama.org]

    • Re:Leave them alone (Score:4, Informative)

      by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Sunday December 31, 2017 @12:22AM (#55837305)

      Leave them alone . . . . Iran was once a democracy until they elected the "wrong" leader and America and Britain fixed it by putting in the Shah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Unfortunately your history is a bit off. The Shah was in power before the Prime Minister's coup, and was in power after the British & American counter-coup. You may note this section of the Wikipedia article:

      Execution of Operation Ajax [wikipedia.org]
      The official pretext for the start of the coup was Mossadegh's decree to dissolve Parliament, giving himself and his cabinet complete power to rule, while effectively stripping the Shah of his powers.[10][11][12] It resulted in him being accused of giving himself "total and dictatorial powers."

      The "pretext" has the "unfortunate" quality of being true and understated in Wikipedia. The Prime Minister overthrew the Iranian democratic government, and effectively the Shah who then fled the country. The Prime Minister took the power of ruling by decree, in other words a dictator. After a quick look it appears that the Wikipedia article fails to mention that there was a fraudulent election staged to justify all of this. The Time magazine article that I saw on it mentioned that Iran's Prime Minister received a higher percentage vote than either Hitler or Stalin received in their elections. I wonder what the Farsi word for chutzpah is? Anyway, the counter-coup restore the Shah to power, it wasn't what put him in power to begin with.

      As long as the rank and file soldiers and police don't feel that the internal turmoil in Iran won't be exploited by outside forces they likely will tolerate peaceful protests. There is a good chance the Iranian leadership won't order any kind of crack down for fear the police won't obey them. If the rest of the worlds leaders can resist opening their mouths there is a good chance Iran can be another success story like Tunisia.

      We can expect the Iranian government to be at least as violent as they were in 2009 when they unleashed the Revolutionary Guards, Basij paramilitary units, and Lebas Shakhsi paramilitaries on the Green Movement protesters. Those forces are loyal to the Iranian revolutionary Islamist regime as are willing to attack civilians in the streets to maintain the regime.

      It appears to be starting now.

      Two reportedly killed after Iranian forces 'open fire on protestors' as demonstrations continue for third day [telegraph.co.uk]

      Two people are understood to have been killed after Iranian security forces reportedly opened fire on anti-government demonstrators on Saturday as the largest protests seen in the country since 2009 continued for a third day. ...

      There is no knowing how this will turn out, but it may turn quite bloody. The Iranian revolutionary Islamist government won't go down peacefully.

      • by ph1ll ( 587130 )

        I'm genuinely curious about this analysis. Iran had an election in 2013 where the moderate candidate won with just over 50% of the votes with the US and UK reacting relatively positively [bbc.com] and neither denouncing the election as unfair.

        This makes Iran one of the most democratic countries in the Middle East (admittedly, it's not up against stiff competition for that title). Certainly, when you compare it to our "ally" Saudi Arabia who promote terrorism in Europe [bbc.com], fight alongside al Qaeda in their brutal war in [wsj.com]

      • Re:Leave them alone (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ilguido ( 1704434 ) on Sunday December 31, 2017 @11:02AM (#55838479)

        Leave them alone . . . . Iran was once a democracy until they elected the "wrong" leader and America and Britain fixed it by putting in the Shah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Unfortunately your history is a bit off. The Shah was in power before the Prime Minister's coup, and was in power after the British & American counter-coup. You may note this section of the Wikipedia article:

        Execution of Operation Ajax [wikipedia.org] The official pretext for the start of the coup was Mossadegh's decree to dissolve Parliament, giving himself and his cabinet complete power to rule, while effectively stripping the Shah of his powers.[10][11][12] It resulted in him being accused of giving himself "total and dictatorial powers."

        The "pretext" has the "unfortunate" quality of being true and understated in Wikipedia. The Prime Minister overthrew the Iranian democratic government, and effectively the Shah who then fled the country. The Prime Minister took the power of ruling by decree, in other words a dictator. After a quick look it appears that the Wikipedia article fails to mention that there was a fraudulent election staged to justify all of this. The Time magazine article that I saw on it mentioned that Iran's Prime Minister received a higher percentage vote than either Hitler or Stalin received in their elections. I wonder what the Farsi word for chutzpah is? Anyway, the counter-coup restore the Shah to power, it wasn't what put him in power to begin with.

        Almost true, that is completely false. From the same wikipedia article:

        the Shah began to take an increasingly active role in politics. He quickly organized the Iran Constituent Assembly to amend the constitution to increase his powers. He established the Senate of Iran which had been a part of the Constitution of 1906 but had never been convened. The Shah had the right to appoint half the senators and he chose men sympathetic to his aims. Mossadegh thought this increase in the Shah's political power was not democratic; he believed that the Shah should "reign, but not rule" in a manner similar to Europe's constitutional monarchies. Led by Mossadegh, political parties and opponents of the Shah's policies banded together to form a coalition known as the National Front. Oil nationalization was a major policy goal for the party.
        By 1951, the National Front had won majority seats for the popularly elected Majlis (Parliament of Iran).

        Basically the Shah created an upper house of the Parliament that was completely loyal to him, then a lot of people in Iran got upset for this fact and finally they elected Mossadegh who opposed that novelty. That's also why he was thinking of dissolving the Parliament: the unelected Shah controlled the upper house through unlected members. That was not very democratic to the eyes of Mossadegh and many Iranians alike.
        The real problem, though, was the oil nationalization part. That got the US and UK to act: you can butcher your people all you want (like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain do), but don't touch our precious! End of story.

        Then again, the majority of the people in Iran, like in every Middle East country, is made up of islamist blockheads, so, even if the ayatollah gets deposed, the end result would not be better (and probably much worse). But that's not what matters to the U.S.

        • Looking at the summary of Iran's history prior to the Shah [wikipedia.org], it's a real mess. Yes Mossadegh looks like the one bright spot, but he was only in power for 2 years (and not even continuously). Everything that happened before and after looks like more of the same - dictators, coups, invasion, foreign control, assassination. Given that the average tenure of the Prime Minister of Iran [wikipedia.org] was slightly less than 1 year prior to the Shah's takeover (28 of them, including repeats, from 1925 to 1952), I'm no longer so
          • Of course. However the problem was that the Shah alienated the liberals, the leftists and all the secular forces. So when the Islamic extremists (who are not a minority, but are the most part of the lower classes still today) tried to topple him, none tried to defend the Shah: the Shah was overturned by the extremists and the liberals. Then the extremists took over, because they were the strongest party by far.

            As a side note, the average government of the Italian Republic [wikipedia.org] lasted less than a year too (and
          • Yes Mossadegh looks like the one bright spot,...

            Are you joking? Mossadegh is the one that actually overthrew the Iranian democratic government! He dissolved parliament! (almost certainly illegally to boot) He faked an election and took dictatorial powers to rule by decree. How on earth is that a bright spot?

            . . . . by no means is it clear that democracy would've lasted had the U.S. and Britain not backed the Shah.

            Democracy was over by that time. Mossadegh had previously destroyed it.

        • Almost true, that is completely false. From the same wikipedia article:

          So, what is it that is actually "almost true, that is completely false"? We are dealing with history here. So lets recount.

          Did Prime Minister Mossadegh fake an election? - Yes
          Did Prime Minister Mossadegh dissolve the Iranian parliament? - Yes
          Did Prime Minister Mossadegh assume the power to rule by decree? - Yes
          Did Prime Minister Mossadegh cause the Shah to flee the country? - Yes
          In summary, did Prime Minister Mossadegh overthrow the government? - yes

          So, what are you claiming to be false? You don't reall

        • Until we intervened. There are pictures of Iranian girls in short skirts from the 50s. Hell, the war in the middle east was basically caused by the west dividing up the country the way we saw fit ignoring Geo-political boundaries...
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      It's that political rubber band. You stretch it really hard to hold power and then the snap back ends up worse and then things finally settle down. The mess was created by the greed of the UK and then carried on by the greed of the US, this generated bad outcome. Now possibly, finally a good one but if born of violence pretty much guaranteed to be worse, one way or another.

  • I just saw this video on what's going on in Iran:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbXWFKttVs8

    One thing I took away was this, it takes just one generation for freedom to die. If a totalitarian government can stay in power long enough for everyone that remembers what freedom looks and feels like then freedom can die. At that point people people don't know any better and expect nothing else. That's what North Korea has become. In North Korea they've had the Kim family in charge long enough that anyone that

    • by harperska ( 1376103 ) on Saturday December 30, 2017 @11:33PM (#55837155)

      North Korea won't fall until China lets it.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday December 31, 2017 @01:05AM (#55837421) Homepage

        North Korea won't fall until China lets it.

        China won't let North Korea fall unless Kim Jong-un goes off the deep end and launches a first strike. Everything short of that only serves China, I mean when Trump and Kim roll in the mud China wins. When Trump goes on the world stage as a warmonger China wins. When he huffs and puffs but can't actually do anything China wins. And if by some extreme escalation US actually launches a first strike? Bye goes Seoul and the whole peninsula will be a disaster area that the US would have to fix. Probably enough resentment to turn the whole of Korea away from the US and towards China. Even when they're publicly trying to de-escalate I'm pretty sure the unofficial message to NK is to keep tauting the US.

        • The "bye goes Seoul" meme really needs to die.

          * Only a handful of suburbs are in range of NK artillery.
          * Seoul has bomb shelters.
          * During the few drills we've seen recently, a sizable percentage of the NK munitions are duds.
          * NK also doesn't get to do anywhere near as much drilling as SK and the US get to do, because they don't have the resources to do it.
          * NK doesn't have satellites, drones, stealth aircraft, or any decent remote sensing capacity. They have a serious information gap both offensively and de

        • NK is China. But for Mao's invasion of NK at the end of the Korean War there would be no such thing as NK.

          NK is their baby -- all of the harm and evil that has flowed from there is China's responsibility.

  • Mesh networking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hackwrench ( 573697 ) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Saturday December 30, 2017 @11:34PM (#55837157) Homepage Journal
    Mesh networks implemented properly are much harder to shut down.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Trivial to find.

      Just impose strong enough penalties and they'd disappear fast.

    • The goddam things are almost impossible to implement.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Makes it rather easy for governments (or anyone) to shut down a group. Log in and start saying a lot of violent garbage. Channel banned. Problem solved.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This news must come as a shock to CNN viewers because they've been running 24-7 coverage of that damn white truck that blocks CNN's view of Trump playing golf. Oh wait, this won't shock CNN viewers because CNN still isn't covering it at all.

    • Oh wait, this won't shock CNN viewers because CNN still isn't covering it at all.

      Oh [cnn.com], really [cnn.com]? Did you actually look, or are you just parroting what you heard Fox News - the way Dear Leader apparently does?

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@ g m a il.com> on Sunday December 31, 2017 @03:48AM (#55837689) Homepage

        You know it's been going on since the 27/28th right? CNN reported nothing on it until yesterday. It was covered heavily in SEA media(JP, S.Korea, and Singapore) in both local and english dailies though. They have a point, these are major protests and it took CNN 2 days or call it 3 days before they reported on it, but they were talking damn near non-stop on all of their channels about that white truck. Hell it was the top thing on CNN while I was waiting for the train to pick me up on the 28th in Tokyo.

        • by Nexion ( 1064 )

          "They have a point, these are major protests and it took CNN 2 days or call it 3 days before they reported on it..."

          The fact that CNN is reporting it after only two or three days speaks to the severity of the protests really. I've watched them remain blind to human plight for over a week when EVERYONE, even the UN, was reporting something they didn't seem to want to lend credence to. That is why I get my news anywhere and everywhere else.

  • An even stronger reaction than in the U.S.

  • Good. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 )
    Now if only us Americans can not stick our heads in like we did in the 50s (deposing their democratically elected leader not less) then maybe, just maybe they'll have a chance to modernize and secularize.
    • So like when Obama ignored the protestors in Iran and finally came up with the "solution" of giving the Iranian government Billions in cash and ignoring their drug dealing? That kind of "not sticking our heads in" which did nothing but hurt the protestors last time around?

  • So Telegram has begun shutting chats at the behest of government bodies.

    Well. That didn't take long.

    So much for Telegram being the hard-ass impossible to influence "we never take bribes or listen to threats" messenger.

    Fork, anyone?
    • by GNious ( 953874 )

      Only thing I've seen confirmed is that they shuttered a channel for promoting violence, advocating the use of molotov cocktails against police - T&C violation.

  • People like the mullahs found the Telegram app to be an ideal tool for the terrorists they promote to exchange encrypted messages. Apparently now it has come back to bite them.

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