The Houthi rebels who have seized an enormous swath of Yemen are censoring the Internet, local media reports.
Yemennet, the nation’s leading Internet service provider, on Thursday blocked numerous websites that criticize the Shiite rebels, the report says.
The move comes just hours after Egypt and Saudi Arabia undertook airstrikes against the rebels. The two neighboring countries also plan a ground incursion.
Yemennet is no stranger to censorship. Throughout the last several years, sites as varied as Vox and Tumblr have been blocked throughout the country.
The Houthis are reportedly complementing their online censorship with the physical kind, too, shutting media outlets down if they don’t agree with their agenda.
all non houthi media outlets have been stormed by the militia #Yemen— Hamza Alshargabi حمزة الشرجبي (@icHamza) March 26, 2015
The use of anti-censorship technology in the country is limited. Only about Yemenis 1,000 use Tor, the powerful anonymity network. However, several companies offer virtual private networks that allow access to censored websites inside the country.
Anadolu Agency, a Turkish media outlet, reported that Yemen’s Information Ministry, which is under Houthi control, said Wednesday that it would take legal action against media outlets that were “inciting tension.”
Yemen is full of non-state actors fighting, not just Houthis & AQAP. Heres a map I worked on showing strongholds/base pic.twitter.com/hXgiFsWhlM— Abubakr Al-Shamahi (@abubakrabdullah) March 26, 2015
H/T Al Bawaba | Illustration by Max Fleishman