Saudi News website Al Jazeerah Plus (AJ+) published a video on its twitter account which claims January 2019 has seen Governmental Internet disruption in Iran and a number of other countries. The video clip was published amid Venezuelan pro-election protests’ news apparently to signal Iranian and a few others are those authoritarian governments trying to ban their citizens’ access to global Internet.
The Saudi media allegedly claims that governments we increasingly pulling the plug on the Internet and that January 2019 alone saw governmental internet disruptions in Sudan, Venezuela, Iran, India, Sudan and a few more countries. Claiming digital rights activists warn that internet freedom declined globally during the period, AJ+ refers to NetBlocks for the source of their information.
“Disruptions occur when a government orders telecom companies or internet service providers to cut off or slow down the Internet.” Reads the published by AJ+ twitter accounts. They also add that “Fraud, and the spread of misinformation are some of the reasons governments use to justify shutdowns.”
Since there was no internet disruptions reported in Iran during January 2019 and in order to learn about the details of the claim by Al Jazeerah, I contacted Netblocks to see how they originated such information and if they would confirm the data about Iran.
“We didn’t release a report on a shutdown in Iran in January so are confused too” said NetBlosks. People in charge of Netblocks internet observatory could not realize the reason why Al Jazeerah had injected such baseless accusation on Iranian Government. They also asked me whether it was an honest mistake or if there was any disagreement between AJ and Iran those days.
Saudi’s policy in spreading fake news and falsifying the truth has never been new and in fact it has never taken that long when the truth to comes out and the scandal breaks on the front page of all websites.