Kazakhstan leaders shut down internet amid gas price protests

Internet service in Kazakhstan was disrupted this week as thousands took to the streets in protest over a rise in energy prices. The internet was partially restored on Wednesday but there is still evidence of significant disruption. 

Both Netblocks and Cloudflare reported significant internet shutdowns in the country on Tuesday evening after protests began in the western town of Zhanaozen. 

Alp Toker, director of NetBlocks, told ZDNet that they have been tracking the disruptions since their onset on Tuesday. NetBlocks found that initially, mobile services and some fixed lines were affected before there was a country-wide blackout around 5 pm on Wednesday affecting all connectivity in the country. 

“What’s striking here is the rapid deployment of internet restrictions at national scale, effectively resulting in an information vacuum both inside and outside the country. This has made it difficult to get a clear picture of what is happening on the ground in Kazakhstan as political instability spirals,” Toker said.

NetBlocks

“In [the] past we’ve document[ed] internet disruptions in Kazakhstan during elections and protests, but the severity here is markedly on a different scale,” Toker added. 

NetBlocks released multiple graphs showing that internet service through mobile providers like Kcell, Beeline, and Tele2 was still significantly disrupted on

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