We Need Net Neutrality Why? Internet Is Used As Tool Of Oppression In Iran, Other Nations

It’s a really, really good idea to turn the Internet here in the U.S. into a public utility with massive federal (and some states are trying to pass their own) control via Net Neutrality, right? Also, somehow Trump is being blamed

‘Tool of repression’: Iran and regimes from Ethiopia to Venezuela limit Internet, go dark online

Nearly a week after Iran imposed a near-total Internet and mobile data blackout amid protests over a rise in gas prices, its connectivity to the rest of the world remains limited and reflects what researchers and activists claim, disputed by Iran, is a “tool of repression” used by regimes from Ethiopia to Venezuela.

But the shutdown in Iran, which began Nov. 17 and remains below 20% of normal levels, according to NetBlocks, a firm that tracks cybersecurity, has not only allowed officials in Tehran to exert control over information about the unrest.

It has also cut off Iranians from their friends and family abroad, seemingly strengthened the Trump administration’s perception that its “maximum pressure” policy on Iran is working after Washington exited the nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions, and further obscured what’s happening and who’s to blame in a Middle Eastern nation whose political and economic isolation has fluctuated in the four decades since its 1979 revolution that ushered in its Islamic Republic.

How does Trump have anything to do with this?

Marcin de Kaminski, a technology and human rights expert at Civil Rights Defenders, a Sweden-based civil rights watchdog, said that Internet blackouts are part of a growing trend of governments trying to shut their citizens off from the world during fraught periods. “They use it to limit freedom of expression or freedom of assembly and quite often it’s connected to elections or conflict or to different forms of civil unrest. This is happening in many different contexts from Uganda to Burma (also known as Myanmar),” he said.

Ethiopia has been intermittently shutting down Internet access since a failed coup in June. Venezuela periodically blocks access to Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other services that require Internet or mobile data access as part of an effort to stymie political opposition and prevent the efficacy of mass protests. India shut off Kashmir’s Internet access more than three months ago amid political upheaval.

Oh, see, more Blame Trump

The protests in Iran accelerated after gas prices were increased by 50% at a time when the sanctions reinstated by President Donald Trump have contributed to soaring inflation and stagnating salaries. The World Bank forecasts Iran’s economy will shrink by 8.7% this year, a consequence of plummeting revenues from blocked oil exports and restrictions on its petrochemicals, metals and mining sectors. Some consumer goods and essential medicines can be hard to get.

So, let’s see: Trump reimposes sanctions on Iran (do we really need to discuss how bad Iran is?), contributing to a horrific economy which is centrally run by a repressive, authoritarian government (isn’t that the way sanctions work?), people protest, the brutal, authoritarian government cracks down more and shuts off a goodly chunk of the Internet, so, Trump is at fault. In fact, Trump is mentioned many times in this article about Iran, their protests, and the Internet. TDS.

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