Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Just before the new year the government of Azerbaijan approved a new regulation according to which all mobile phones and other mobile devices in the country must be registered. While the measure is presented as part of the government's anti-terrorism plan, it tightens control over the Azerbaijani people.

Under the new regulation all mobile phones within the territory of Azerbaijan shall be registered in a to-be-designed 'Mobile Devices Registration System' (MDRS). The system registers the mobile numbers as well as IMEI codes and SIM card numbers. Unregistered phones will appear on a 'black page' and will have access to limited services only. According to Azerbaijani blogger Ali S. Novruzov the measure means that in practice “the government will be able to switch off every phone in the country”.

 

Today, in many countries Internet freedom is in serious jeopardy. Controlling mobile communication contributes to these rising concerns over citizens' privacy and civil liberties. As Free Press Unlimited tries to protect freedom of expression in many different ways, it organized a 'Big Tent Event' in cooperation with Google on December 8th of 2011. During an evening dedicated to Internet freedom it presented a 'Call to Action' which you can still sign today.