Communications service agency calls representatives of Asia-Plus for negotiations

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Deputy Chairman of the Communications Service under the Government of Tajikistan, Ilhomjon Atoyev, wants to meet with representatives of Asia-Plus Media Group, whose website has been blocked over the last year.

Atoyev stated this yesterday at a news conference answering journalists' question about blockage of news websites in the country.

As far Asia-Plus is concerned, it has technical problems. We have received their letter and our specialists are working [on solving this problem]. But we would like to work on solving this problem together with representatives of Asia-Plus, Atoyev said.

He further added that the communications service agency blocked access to websites in accordance with the country's legislation, that is by Supreme Court's order and in accordance with international obligations to partner countries.

www.news.tj, which is the most popular news website in Tajikistan, became inaccessible to residents of the country on November 29, 2018. Such blockages periodically occurred before as well, but they lasted from several days to couple of months.

The current blockage has become unprecedented - it has been going on for more than a year.

Officially, nobody blocks Asia-Plus's website. Responding to the query of Asia-Plus, the communications service agency, which regulates the telecommunications issues in our country, says that it did not block the Asia-Plus website and these are probably just technical difficulties.

However, the website is accessible in Tajikistan only through virtual private network (VPN). T means that somebody has blocked it, but is afraid to admit it, knowing that he is breaking the law.

Recall, the main websites and business e-mails of Asia-Plus Media Group stopped working on August 19.

The government communications service agency denied responsibility for the incident

Tech experts have told Radio Liberty that the domain name records for two websites, news.tj and asiaplus.tj, had been deliberately misconfigured to disrupt access, which could potentially result from an error or cyberattack.

Following the outage, Asia-Plus news agency changed its e-mail addresses and continued to publish via the asiaplustj.info website through VPN, as well as its Facebook page and Telegram channel.

Source: Asia Plus