Ono Computer Expert Discusses Closing the Internet During Protests in the Middle East

Ono computer science lecturer Ran Bar-Zik was recently interviewed on Radio Tel Aviv’s “Free Market” program where he discussed the potential of police interruption of social media at times of unrest.

Bar-Zik was asked to respond to a statement by Israel’s Chief of Police, Kobi Shabtai, who said that at times of national upheaval, who would be interested in temporarily shutting down social media as a means to quell violence.  Recently, the Government of Jordan, Israel’s neighbor, closed down the Tik Tok site following demonstrations against the rising cost of fuel.

Many Middle Eastern countries, Bar-Zik noted, close down the internet during protests, in part because it is used for organizing demonstrations. He described a number of ways that a government could close a website, including blocking access to a specific website.  There are ways, however, to get around these blockages, such as through the use of a virtual private network (VPN).

The complete interview can be heard here: https://www.ifatmediasite.com/ms/radio/2022/12/19/11859240.mp3