Iran Cracks Down, Blocks Social Media

Instagram, Telegram blocked after protesters use it to coordinate, publicize mass demonstrations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2017 7:33 AM CST
Iran Cracks Down, Blocks Social Media
Anti-riot Iranian police prevent university students to join other protesters over Iran weak economy, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017.   (AP Photo)

Iran state TV is reporting that authorities have blocked Instagram and the messaging app Telegram, reports the AP. State TV's website reported the decision Sunday, 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." Facebook, which owns Instagram, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The CEO of Telegram earlier said Iran is "blocking access ... for the majority of Iranians" after protesters used the popular messaging app to plan and publicize demonstrations. CEO Pavel Durov made the announcement on Twitter on Sunday. Iranians said the app is now inaccessible by mobile phone networks. The Telegram app has been used to share videos of the protests, the largest since 2009, and times for new rallies. Users said Sunday that they could no longer access the app via cellphone networks, though it was still available via Wifi and home internet connections.

(More Iran protests stories.)

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