Turkmenistan has introduced new rules for connecting to the Internet at home. Citizens are now required to swear an oath on the Koran with a commitment not to use a VPN, informs Radio Liberty is the Turkmen service of Radio Liberty.
One local resident said that she signed up for an internet connection 1.5 years ago. When her turn came, the officials demanded that the inhabitant of Turkmenistan, among other things, swear on the holy Koran for Muslims. She had to vow that she would not use VPN services. “And without a VPN, no sites open on the Internet. I don’t even know what to do, ”the woman added. Other residents of Turkmenistan also told that they were forced to take such an oath.
According to the newspaper, in one of the regions of the country, an employee of the Ministry of National Security in charge of the local branch of the Turkmentelecom company makes citizens take such an oath.
Earlier, the Turkmen authorities have resorted to various methods of restricting the Internet. The country has blocked the pages of social networks, sites offering VPN services. Masters were sent under arrest who installed VPN services on phones for a fee.
VPN (English abbreviation, stands for “virtual private network”) is a technology that allows you to protect the privacy of Internet users and bypass blocking by masking the IP addresses of users.
In Turkmenistan, the practice of taking the oath by citizens is widespread, but in the past, as a rule, they were forced to swear on the book “Rukhnama”, the author of which was declared the Turkmenbashi – the first president of the country, Saparmurad Niyazov.
Turkmenistan ranks among the countries with the toughest censorship on the Internet, according to a report released in early August by the Internet-focused publication Comparitech. This list includes Belarus, Iran, China, North Korea and Syria.