Social media blocked in Kazakhstan on Victory Day
Almaty. May 13. KazTAG - Multiple internet providers in Kazakhstan have blocked access to major social networks and online platforms Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as well as news and campaign websites on 9 May 2019, according to NetBlocks internet observatory network measurements, reports Netblocks.
The restrictions appear to have come into place after dissident groups called for demonstrations to take place on May 9, as Kazakhstan and former Soviet states commemorate their World War II victory.
Network data show that restrictions have been implemented at the ISP level variously this morning, or late Wednesday evening. The blocks now affect most major internet providers although the complete set of sites restricted varies by ISP.
NetBlocks internet observatory measurements indicate Internet providers in Kazakhstan had cut social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and YouTube by around 7:00 a.m. UTC (1:00 p.m ALMT) as Victory Day ceremonies were under way, while some restrictions were put in place hours earlier:
VK, Twitter and the WhatsApp messaging service remain generally available. Although messaging app Telegram is restricted, it includes censorship countermeasures that allow mobile and desktop versions to remain connected.
Internet scale measurements indicate some networks may have been completely disabled, preventing all internet access to subscribers to those services, pending further investigation.
Kazakhstan has experienced intermittent social media blocking in recent months as authorities have sought to restrict access to live broadcasts by exiled political activist Mukhtar Ablyazov calling for public demonstrations, although blanket bans as today’s remain uncommon.
Kazakhstan is set to hold presidential elections on 9 June 2019 following the resignation of long-term president Nursultan Nazarbayev in March.
Photo source: picture from an open source