Central Asia seeks to restrict social media

MOSCOW - For about an hour last week, people in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan got a taste of life without social media.

Uzbekistan's president Shavkat Mirziyoyev. According to the internet freedom scores from Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank, both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are considered "not free." Foto: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The messaging app Telegram, especially popular in former Soviet republics, was blocked along with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and others on Wednesday over a new law demanding local storage of data.

Social media users were furious, and the government quickly backtracked. In a message posted, fittingly on Telegram, the president's spokesman said the actions of the country's Internet regulator were "ill thought out." Access to social networks was soon restored...

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