Feeds

ISIS: Iraq KILLS the INTERNET: VPNs, social media and chat apps blocked by government

If you can't beat 'em, gag 'em

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Iraq has widened its internet ban to include virtual private networks and mobile data in a bid to halt the progress of brutal offensives in the country led by the extremist militant group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).

Described as "fascist" and "criminal" by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, Isis has been using social media to broadcast horrific images of mass executions and other barbaric war crimes. It now controls much of Iraq and is closing in on its capital, Baghdad.

A reader pointed us towards a translation of a shutdown order posted on the Iraqi Ministry of Communications' Facebook page.

According to the translation, internet services will be shut down across much of the country.

The Ministry of Communications wrote:

"Due to the current national security concerns and the exceptional developing situation in our beloved country, the national security advisory board has decreed the following:

Firstly, stopping all Internet services completely and absolutely for the districts of Nineveh, Al-Anbar, Saladin, Kirkuk, Diyala.

Secondly, stopping all access to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) in all of Iraq starting at 4:00PM and until 7:00AM daily.

Thirdly, stopping all access to the following Internet applications in all of Iraq: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Viber and Skype.

Commenting on an earlier story about an internet shutdown, a Facebook spokesperson said yesterday: "We are disturbed by reports of access issues in Iraq and are investigating. Limiting access to internet services - essential for communication and commerce for millions of people - is a matter of concern for the global community."

The internet ban is designed to stop Isis minions from communicating with each other and is also aimed at hobbling its propaganda machine.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has estimated that around 400 Britons are already p fighting as part of the militant group. With additional reports of children fighting alongside adults, the Iraqi government will be keen to cut any connections Isis has to the outside world. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.