If you see numerous youngsters protesting outside the government’s office in Algeria then please don’t freak out. They are the internet addicts who are protesting to get their rights to the Facebook and Twitter and 3G back. If you ask why they are going haywire then here is the reason. Algerian’s authorities have temporarily blocked access to facebook, twitter and other social media sites.
According to the authorities, this an initiative to stop cheats posting high school exam papers online. Tens of thousands of high school students were retaking part of their baccalaureate exams after details were shared over social media.
In a statement Sunday, the Ministry of Post and Information and Communication Technology said that the “cut of social networks has a direct relationship with the matriculation exams” which begin Sunday. It said that it had made the move to protect students from “phony topics” that were being circulated online.
Blocking access to online services seems to be growing trend across the globe. while government may have good intentions when they impose such restrictions, it’s worrying because it restricts people’s ability to communicate with their loved ones and communities in times of crisis and blocks the flow of accurate information and news.
Algeria is not the first country to do so, the Indian state of Gujarat saw mobile web access turned off last August following violent protests there; similar measures were taken in the state of Haryana few months backs. And last November, VPN users in China had their connectivity disrupted for trying to scale the Great Firewall.