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INTERNET IS DOWN IN MOST AREAS IN AZERBAIJAN

The Azeri Times

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Internet speeds have been slow and connections unreliable in Azerbaijan because local internet service providers (ISPs) haven’t been paying their bills. According to a statementfrom Delta Telecom, which provides all internet for Azerbaijan through secondary ISPs, those local providers owe Delta Telecom over 3 million manats (about $1.8 million).

According to their statement, Delta Telecom has limited the service provided to local ISPs such as the state-owned Qlobal Netvorks, CNC AZ, and Data Plus, in an attempt to force those companies to pay their debts. Delta Telecom also states that the company is suing the indebted firms in court, and a total shutdown of service for them is also “on the agenda.”

Internet connectivity problems are experienced in Azerbaijan on a regular basis. On 17 November 2015, a fire at Delta Telecom’s data processing center resulted in an internet outage in most of Azerbaijan.

In May 2017, access to WhatsApp, Facebook, and Skype was restricted. At the time, Osman Gunduz, the president of the Azerbaijani Internet Forum, suggested that the measure was intended to make it impossible for terrorists to communicate with each other while Azerbaijan hosted the Islamic Solidarity Games. “But the ban on the use of messengers flagrantly violates the citizens’ right to receiving information. On the other hand, this kind of ban damages Azerbaijan’s international image, as well as the future profits of the Azerbaijani regional data processing center and of Delta Telecom, which could ensure an inflow of foreign currency into Azerbaijan,” Gunduz said.

There was an internet outage on 29 September 2017 because the networks of several transit operators in Europe were overloaded.

According to their website, Delta Telecom services 78% of all ISPs in the Caucasus, including all ISPs in Azerbaijan, as well as providing satellite and other forms of telecommunications.

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OPPOSITION LEADER’s FACEBOOK ACCOUNT HACKED

The Azeri Times

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On 9 January, the Facebook page of Jamil Hasanli, the chairman of the National Council of Democratic Forces, was hacked and all posts on the page were deleted. The hackers are also said to have blocked a number of his followers, reducing the total number by more than 70,000.

The National Council of Democratic Forces was established as an alliance of opposition politicians ahead of the 2013 presidential election in the Azerbaijan Republic. Jamil Hasanli was a presidential candidate at the time.

Azerbaijani Popular Front Party (APFP) Chairman Ali Karimli addressed the hackers on his Facebook page:

“You may have hacked Jamil Hasanli’s page but you will not be able to silence Jamil Hasanli. He will speak and write, he will expose you, and our people will find a way to read him and listen to him because our people are tired of you and your lies and want freedom and want to hear the truth. All of your illegal actions are in vain. Our people will find a way to liberate themselves from you.”

Some time ago it was reported that an attempt had been made to hack APFP chairman Ali Karimli’s Facebook page as well. Karimli said that the attackers had only managed to get his page out of his control for 30 minutes. However, during that period of time, the attackers managed to delete posts from several months and to block his followers, reducing them by more than 3,000.

In late March 2017, access was blocked to the websites of Radio Liberty, Meydan TV, Turan TV and several other independent websites. The Ministry of Communications initially said it was unaware of that, but later it was revealed in court that it had been done at the request of the Prosecutor-General’s Office. On 12 May, the blocks were upheld by a court ruling.

Recently, Meydan TV’s YouTube account received several false copyright and privacy complaints, putting the account in danger of termination by YoiuTube. And on 9 January, Meydan TV’s website was the target of a massive DDoS attack, which blocked access to the page for some time, and has caused glitches that we are still working to solve.

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AZERBAIJANI COURT UPHOLDS BLOCKING OF INDEPENDENT NEWS WEBSITES

The Azeri Times

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On 19 December, the Baku Court of Appeal upheld a ruling to block access to a number of independent news websites in Azerbaijan. The failed appeal had been brought by Radio Liberty’s Azerbaijani service, Azadlig (“Liberty”), and the unrelated Azadlig newspaper.

In May 2017, five independent news sites were blocked in Azerbaijan after the Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications brought a lawsuit against them. The websites affected are Radio Liberty’s azadliq.org, Azadlig newspaper’s azadliq.info, the websites of Turan TV and the Azerbaijan Hour TV program, as well as Meydan TV.

Adil Ismayilov, representing Radio Liberty, filed a motion requesting that the court consider Radio Liberty’s case separately. “How are the writings of Meydan TV or Azadlig newspaper relevant to the organization I represent?” Ismayilov asked. “Should a bank put all its debtors together and bring a single case against them all?” The motion was rejected.

According to Freedom House’s 2017 report on internet freedom in Azerbaijan, “internet freedom declined in Azerbaijan in the past year after the government introduced new laws empowering authorities to block content in broad circumstances, while actors likely tied to the government targeted activists with malware attacks.” The report lists the country’s overall internet freedom status as “partly free,” while the press freedom status is “not free.”

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IVANKA TRUMP WELCOMED 15 YRS OLD AZERI INVENTOR

The Azeri Times

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Ivanka Trump, senior advisor to President Trump and the President”s representative at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India, recognized the achievements of 15-year old Reyhan Camalova from Azerbaijan. In her remarks, Ms. Trump said: “Also here today with us is Reyhan Camalova from Azerbaijan. Reyhan is 15 years old. But that hasn”t stopped her from founding a company that harvests energy from rainwater. Reyhan has a powerful motto – “Light up one house at a time.” Reyhan, each home you light up is illuminating the world. We are all inspired by your brilliance and hard work. Thank you. Please stand.”

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world. GES 2017 will create an environment that empowers innovators, particularly women, to take their ideas to the next level. Through two and a half days of networking, mentoring, and workshops, GES empowers entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, build partnerships, secure funding, innovate, and find their target customers — creating new goods and services that will transform societies.

Reyhan”s travel to and participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, as well as the travel of her mentor, Leyla Taghizade, was fully sponsored by the United States Department of State. The United States Embassy provides major support to entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan through cultural & professional exchanges, as well as through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). When women and girls have the necessary skills and access to opportunities, they gain financial freedom and confidence in themselves. The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan is pleased to have been a part of supporting Reyhan”s success and highlighting her exceptional achievements.

On Reyhan”s project:

Research shows that the billions of gallons of water which fall in rain all over the world have the potential to be used as energy if harnessed correctly. To solve this problem, Reyhan, in cooperation with her school friends and physicists created the Rainergy device, which produces electricity from falling rain. It consists of four main parts: a rain collector, water tank, electricity generator and battery. The rain collector fills the water tank with rain water ,which then goes through an electricity generator at high speed, creating electricity. The energy is then stored in the battery, helping relieve pressure on power grids, and allowing yet another option for access to power for underserved communities.

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