Article Lead Image

The Houthis who seized Yemen are already censoring the Internet

It's a country with limited VPN usage.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Mar 27, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 5:17 am CDT

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.

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.”

H/T Al Bawaba | Illustration by Max Fleishman

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 27, 2015, 1:05 pm CDT