Bangladesh temporarily blocked the messaging apps Viber and Tango on Sunday after intelligence agencies asked the country’s telecoms regulator for help in quelling opposition protests. Reports suggested on Monday that the ban had been lifted early in the morning, allowing the apps’ traffic to move freely again after an outage of around 18 hours. The agencies had reportedly been concerned that they could not monitor communications between “terrorists and militants” that used the apps – anti-government protestors have been carrying out a transport blockade for a couple of weeks.
Only 15 users have gotten verified status, but almost all of them are Hong Kong journalists who Open Garden hopes will become trusted sources of information during the protests.
Open Garden’s smartphone app allows protesters to communicate without an internet connection, but it’s also being used to spread disinformation. With verified accounts and private chatrooms, Open Garden hopes to solve that problem.
As protests escalate leaving six people dead, Sudan suddenly dropped off the internet. According to Arbor Networks Sudan went dark between 6 and 7 AM ET.
As promised, hactivist group Anonymous organized demonstrations on Saturday in 16 cities throughout India, protesting the governments Internet laws and the ISPs’ blocking of popular file-sharing sites. Protesters donned Guy Fawkes masks and amassed at cricket grounds and other outdoor landmarks from Chennai to Delhi.
The anti-SOPA and PIPA demonstrations don’t stop with site-wide blackouts planned for Wednesday by a number of web giants. People also have plans to meet up in real life and take the protest to the streets in cities such as San Francisco, New York and Seattle.
The SF BART subway system admitted Friday it shut down cell phone service on several subway platforms during a planned protest Thursday. The subway operator said it was to guarantee passengers’ safety, but others are calling it “a chilling strike against free speech.”