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Iran: Elon Musk is activating his satellite network to provide connection

“Activating Starlink…” the billionaire tweeted. The Iranian government restricts access due to protests.

The South African billionaire Elon Musk left a brief message on Twitter this Friday from which it follows that it is activating its Starlink satellite network to provide internet in Iran, after the US Government authorized it. The country is convulsed and crossed by social protest, after the death of Mashsa Amini, a young woman who took off her hijab and was killed after being arrested.

“Activating Starlink…” was the brief message shared by the CEO of Tesla, who thus responded to a tweet from the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in which he reported that this Friday the Administration led by Joe Biden issued a license that authorizes internet companies to provide their services in Iran.

The measure was taken in response to internet cuts ordered by Tehran to stop protests against violence against women and the mandatory veil.

“With this measure, we will help the Iranian people not to be isolated in the dark. It is a step to significantly support Iranians who demand that their fundamental rights be respected,” Blinken said in a statement.

Specifically, the United States Department of the Treasury, which maintains strong sanctions against Iran, issued a general license with which “technology companies will be able to provide more digital services to Iranians, from access to the cloud to tools to improve their security and online privacy.

The protests in Iran began last Friday after learning of the death of Masha Amini, 22, after being arrested by the Moral Police for wearing the veil wrongand have been spreading throughout the country.

The state television IRIB has reported the death of 26 people in clashes with the authorities.

The government has heavily restricted the internet, with mobile networks cut from 9:00 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. GMT) until Iranian morning for the past two days.

The United States sanctioned the Moral Police on Thursday for the death of the young woman and seven high-ranking security officials for the repression of the demonstrations.

The crackdown in Iran

Convulsion over the Amini case. AFP Photo

The New York Times reported that “between 180 and 450 people, and possibly more,” were killed during four days of violence, with thousands more injured and detained, largely as the country plunged into digital darkness. Reuters, in December 2019, reported that 1,500 people were killed during a two-week period of unrest.

Now, history of some concern could repeat itself amid further civil unrest. Protesters have flooded the streets in recent days after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, was killed while she was in the custody of Tehran’s morality police.

Iranian authorities claimed he had a heart attack, but his family has said he did not have a pre-existing heart condition. “I have no idea what they did to him,” his father, Amjad Amini, told BBC Persia. “All is a lie.”

Mobile networks have largely been shut down, according to internet watchdog Netblocks. And Meta has confirmed that the Iranians have problems accessing some of your applications, included WhatsApp and Instagram. While it’s not the complete internet shutdown of 2019, tech experts say they’re seeing a similar pattern.

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