Telegram was blocked in Israel
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Telegram was blocked in Israel

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Zira is the Israeli counterpart , is one of Telegram’s popular messaging app domains and it is being used mainly for Telegram channels and groups. Instead of going through the hassle of asking telegram to deal with the channel or pressing charges against the channel administrators, Zira took the easy path and just blocked the entire domain. Netvision -Cellcom was more than happy to help and blocked the t.me domain with DNS blocking.

Instead of going through the hassle of trying to get telegram to deal with the channel or pressing charges against the channel administrators, Zira took the easy path and blocked the entire domain. Netvision-Cellcom was happy to comply and blocked the t.me domain with DNS blocking.

DNS blocking is a censorship technique that changes טלגראס אתר the DNS record for a specific domain in the ISP’s DNS. Instead of leading users to the intended IP address, it instead leads them to another IP address that displays a simple infringement message.

Since the t.me domain was blocked, all of Telegram’s channels and groups are located in t.me/* domains. For several hours, every customer of CellcomNetvision ISP got 1 of those two screens when accessing any Telegram’s groups or channels.

I was publishing my brand new Telegram channel t.me/interil today and got immediately complaints from users that tried to access the link but got errors infringement messages.

I was dumbfounded when I found out that Zira and Cellcom-Netvision were accusing my humble, dev oriented channel of copyright infringement. It took me long minutes to understand that ALL Telegram groups were affected by this.

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I quickly confirmed my suspicion with a DNS lookup. You can see the example above. I used several ISP’s DNS servers and found that only Cellcom-Netvision had changed their DNS to block Telegram for their users. I immediately published it on my blog (Hebrew).

Only after follow-ups from major newspapers in Israel did Cellcom-Netvision lift the DNS blocking. What about Zira? They are not talking to simple civilians and journalists.

It is fantastic how one organization could just cause major havoc and disruption. It’s a shame that no one thought about the consequences, but it’s no big surprise. If you try to block the internet for ANY reason, people will get hurt.

It’s amazing how one organization can cause such major havoc and disruption. It’s a shame that no one thought about the consequences, but it’s no big surprise. If you try to block the internet for ANY reason, people will get hurt.

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