In times of crisis and repression, telecom customers have been – and continue to be – subjected to restrictions on free communications to manage perceptions and stifle any dissenting voices. From Ukraine and Myanmar to Cuba and Afghanistan, how do telcos operating in unstable markets manage, and how have customers in these regions taken it upon themselves to improve services?
For as long as mass communication technologies have existed, those with power have sought to regulate and control the flow of information in times of unrest.
One of the first campaigns of mass telecommunications censorship in the 1910s saw Danish phone calls and telegrams monitored and restricted to ensure the country remained neutral and out of the First World War. Decades later in 1952, fearing Western espionage, Joseph Stalin had phone lines between East and West Berlin severed, remaining cut until 1971.
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