In Iran, the protests continue, and the Internet blocks remain in place as a reaction. This could have devastating consequences for the internet economy.
The Internet blockades that have been imposed in Iran for days have had massive consequences for the country’s Internet economy. According to the National Community of Online Businesses, around 400,000 companies in the country are at risk of being shut down just because of the Instagram blocking, and more than a million people could be out of work as a result.
In view of the drastic measures, the organization just said on Instagram that she was once again worried about the future. The restrictions on internet access and the blocking of social networks are causing serious damage, especially to small businesses working from home. The minister responsible has meanwhile indicated that the blocking of Instagram and WhatsApp could remain in place.
Warning against further emigration
With the announcement, the e-commerce association is reacting to the protests that have been going on for days and the harsh reaction of the regime of the Islamic Republic. The demonstrations broke out when a young woman died after being arrested by the so-called vice squad. Since then, people on the street have been demanding not only an end to the strict clothing regulations and equal rights for women, but now also an end to the dictatorship. The regime in Tehran has once again responded with internet blockades: Instagram and WhatsApp are no longer accessible, and mobile internet is blocked, especially in the evening hours.
The association criticizes that the government is taking the ax to the foundations of the Internet economy with these measures. That triggered a wave of dissatisfaction, and there were also strikes. The measures would drive even more qualified workers abroad, it said. Both WhatsApp and Instagram play an important role in online business in Iran. Products are advertised on Instagram, WhatsApp served as a means of communication and payment.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Communications Minister Issa Zarepour has hinted that the lockdowns could remain indefinite, writes the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. The US services have become “incubators for unrest”. In Tehran, calls for a permanent ban on Instagram had been made earlier, but the regime had so far shied away from doing so.