Libya: We’re Back. Iran: We’re Not
In its latest quarterly report Opera looks a how quickly Libyans have gone back online with their mobile devices after six months in the dark. The graphic pretty much sums it up:
Talking of Internet blocking, Opera noticed that Iran continues to mess with Internet access for its citizens:
While we can speculate on government intervention or an operator shutting down Opera Mini access, the numbers are striking. Opera Mini usage in Iran dropped 36% in July. Most of the user loss occurred over five days, from July 4th to July 9th. Iran is no stranger to these quick drops. After reaching new highs, Opera Mini usage drops quickly. On June 14, 2011, Opera Mini reached an all-time high in Iran. The next day, usage plummeted more than 48%.
One can indeed only speculate, but the June plummet may be to do with the June 12 second anniversary of the 2009 election, when marchers took to the streets [Inter Press Service report via Asia Times]. (The lag between the Sunday June 12 march, the spike in traffic two days later, and then the plummet could either be explained by the marchers using their cellphones and then losing interest, or the sudden interest of the security services in curtailing mobile traffic to disrupt more planned marches.
The July drop in traffic I can’t explain: I’ve looked for events around that time, but can’t find any.