- Woman matches on Tinder with LaCroix thief—and his victim Tuesday 7:38 PM
- U.K. police will have to disclose documents about WikiLeaks journalists Tuesday 6:37 PM
- Backpack Kid sues Fortnite developer over flossing emote Tuesday 5:38 PM
- Conservatives rage at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘week of self-care’ Tuesday 4:02 PM
- 2 inflatable snowmen fought in front of a combo KFC/Taco Bell Tuesday 2:47 PM
- How to watch the Boca Raton Bowl online for free Tuesday 2:43 PM
- DAZN KOs YouTube, Snapchat as (temporarily) the most downloaded app Tuesday 1:57 PM
- AT&T says it’s rolling out 5G service this week Tuesday 1:03 PM
- NY state senator tells woman staffer ‘Kill yourself!’ in a tweet Tuesday 12:54 PM
- This Lil Jon-Kool-Aid Man Christmas jam is as extra as you’d expect Tuesday 12:13 PM
- YouTube stars say unfair copyright claims are making their lives hell Tuesday 12:12 PM
- UPS deletes tweet about shredding letters to North Pole after huge backlash Tuesday 11:21 AM
- Viral petition leads to revised Holland Tunnel Christmas decor Tuesday 11:10 AM
- Paul Ryan’s self-serving farewell tour is the bane of the internet right now Tuesday 10:59 AM
- ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ renewed for seasons 3 and 4 Tuesday 10:59 AM
Iraq to block Internet access in 5 provinces, reinstate social media ban
Say goodbye to social media sites, Iraqis. Say goodbye to any Internet whatsoever, Iraqis in combat areas.
Iraq‘s Ministry of Communications has instructed the country’s Internet providers to initiate a major crackdown of the country’s access to the Internet and social media services, including shutting off five provinces entirely.
However, a Iraqi Ministry of Communications document, dated and posted to the agency’s Facebook page Monday, instructs the country’s providers to enact the harshest crackdown yet. According to translations of the document provided by the Arab social media advocacy group Social Media Exchange’s Mohamad Najem, the ban is divided into three clear parts.
First, Internet service providers are instructed to fully cut access to Anbar, Diyalah, Kirkuk, Ninawa, and Saleh El Din provinces in their entirety, as well as to eleven other areas of the country. According to international Internet tracking firm Renesys, some of these areas, but not all, saw their access blocked a few days earlier. And at least some of the blocked areas are known to be spots of heavy fighting between the Iraqi government and the surging militant group known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The Iraqi government also instructed Internet service providers (ISPs) to reinstate or maintain the existing bans on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Skype, and to create new bans on other communication and social media services like Tango and Instagram.
Finally, just in case anyone’s trying to use basic technology to get around those bans, the ban tells ISPs to try to block any use of virtual private networks (VPNs)—a way to reroute your Internet connection to access sites from a middle location—during the local hours of 4 pm to 7 am.
Photo via wallpaperswide | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.