Media In Iran Report Weeks Of Slow Internet Access

10/11/2021

Media in Iran are reporting about increasing disruption in internet connectivity in the past few weeks, as parliament debates more cyber restrictions.

The reports say that for the past two months bandwidth has been reduced and users have a hard time connecting to social media and websites. This coincides with hardline President Ebrahim Raisi taking office in early August.

Slowing down the internet is one way of censorship by authorities in Iran, while blocking individual websites and apps is a more targeted approach.

Meanwhile, the parliament, also dominated by conservatives and hardliners, is reviewing a bill that would restrict access to international social media platforms to force users to download local apps that are surveilled by security agencies.

Iran has restricted access to the internet for two decades and popular social media platforms such as Facebook and You Tube for the past ten years. An overwhelming majority of Iranians routinely use circumvention software to go around government blockages.

The parliament has designated a six-member commission to review the proposed legislation. All six members are proponents of further restricting the internet.

One problem for the government is the increasing role of some apps, such as Instagram in commerce. Many small businesses in Iran now rely on this option to attract and serve customers.

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