Turkmenistan blocked ICQ and began to detain those who install VPN applications for users

Since January 13, ICQ messenger has been blocked for download in Turkmenistan, Turkmen news reports . When trying to install it, the user receives a warning that the application is not available in the region.

The ICQ messenger became popular in Turkmenistan in 2022, as it worked without restrictions and did not require the installation of VPN applications. The messenger has the ability to create public channels that allow you to publish information for a large circle of subscribers. Probably, this was the reason for blocking the application. According to the publication, channels appeared in ICQ through which working keys for VPN were distributed to Turkmen users.

Since the beginning of the year, such channels have been closed at the request of the Turkmen authorities, as reported in ICQ technical support; and now the application has been blocked from downloading completely. At the same time, it is noted that while the messenger cannot only be downloaded, but if the application has already been installed earlier, it continues to work without a VPN.

Meanwhile, Radio Azatlyk reports on detentions in the Balkan province of specialists who set up VPN servers operating in Turkmenistan and then sell people a monthly subscription that costs 250-300 manats.

In Turkmenistan, since the advent of the Internet in the country, censorship has been introduced in the network, which has gradually become tougher. Now, according to Turkmen news, more than half of the existing IP addresses in the world are blocked in the country.

Earlier, sources of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” informed about the intention of the authorities to introduce in the country not “black lists”, which include prohibited sites and IP addresses, but so-called “white lists”, when the entire Internet is initially blocked and then allowed addresses are entered into. Probably, at the moment there is a hybrid model - half of the IP addresses are completely blocked, but there are some exceptions made to the list of allowed sites, and the other half is available, but already with a list of prohibited resources.

In September 2022, Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov proposed the creation of some kind of “autonomous digital network” in the country. It is not yet clear whether this will be a kind of intranet - a network for the citizens of a country separated from the global Internet, such as, for example, the North Korean Gwangmyeon.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan