[Montenegro] blocks social media on election day: what a Dick Move

Subject: [Montenegro] blocks social media on election day: what a Dick Move
From: newsbeanie@dictatorshandbook.net (NewsBeanie)
Newsgroups: dictator.europe
Organization: blocknews - www.blocknews.net
Date: Oct 19 2016 03:12:25
Title: WhatsApp and Viber Blocked on Election Day in Montenegro
Author: Filip Stojanovski
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:01:38 -0400
Link: https://globalvoices.org/2016/10/17/whatsapp-and-viber-blocked-on-election-day-in-montenegro/
Podcast Download URL: https://globalvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/20161016-Montengro-Bar-CTD-400x300.jpg

[image 2][2]

“Believe it or not, this is an polling station Komarno in the city of Bar[3]“,
tweeted the Center for Democratic Transitions. Photo by CDT, used with

Parliamentary elections in Montenegro on 16 October 2016 were marred with
allegations of irregularities, reported via social networks, and a temporary
ban on WhatsApp, Viber and similar messaging apps.

The regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services ordered
telecom operators to prevent the use of messaging applications. The Agency
reasoned that the ban was intended to keep users from receiving “unwanted
communication,” an official designation for spam that could also apply to mass
messages sent on behalf of specific candidates or political parties.

The agency's executive director Zoran Sekulić refused to respond to questions
from Vijesti newspaper[4] about the reasons for this decision. In a later
report published by Vijesti, they described their phone call with Sekulić:

“Ko je vama dao pravo da me zovete. Zovite me sjutra u 8 sati. Ko vam je dao
pravo da me uznemiravate”, poručio je Sekulić. Ni nakon ponovljenog poziva,
Sekulić nije htio da objasni građanima odluku Agencije i kazao je da “ne daje
izjave “Vijestima””.

“Who gave you the right to call me? Call me tomorrow at 8 am. Who gave you
the right to harrass me,” Sekulić said. After a second call, he still refused
to explain the decision of the Agency and said that “he doesn't give
statements to Vijesti.”

The website of the Center for Democratic Transitions[5] (CDT), the leading
Montenegrin election observation NGO, was under attack during the election day,
and inaccessible during the afternoon and evening.

Discussions about the elections took place on social media, where citizens
shared information about the elections in local Slavic languages using the
hashtag #IzboriCG[6] (Elections Montenegro) and the country name #CrnaGora[7],
as well as in English via the equivalent hashtags #ElectionsMNE[8] and

The ban on messaging apps

The blackout of messaging apps was a leading topic in social media
conversations about the election. While the Agency had not published any
information about its decision on its website, local operator Telenor sent a
string of tweets (1[10], 2[11], 3[12]) explaining the blocking order. In sum,
they read:

EKIP je naložila svim telekomunikacionim operatorima da isključe mogućnost
korišćenja aplikacija Viber, WhatsApp i sl. servisa, koji su danas
upotrijebljeni za neželjenu komunikaciju sa korisnicima. Mogućnost korišćenja
ovih servisa biće isključena dok Agencija posebnim nalogom ne odredi da se
takva zabrana suspenduje.

The Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services ordered all
telecommunication operators to turn off the option to use the applications
Viber, WhatsApp and the like, which were used today for unwanted
communication with the users. The possibility for use of these services will
be turned off until the Agency determines an end of the ban with a special

We condemn decision of the Agency to block Viber and WhatsApp and thus limit
communication and share of information #electionsMNE[8]

— CDT Montenegro (@CDT_Montenegro) October 16, 2016[13]

We ask all our TW and FB followers to share published information and assist
us to accurately and objectively inform citizens #electionsMNE[8]

— CDT Montenegro (@CDT_Montenegro) October 16, 2016[14]

Serbian Internet marketing specialist Nemanja Živkovic compared the Montenegro
blackout with a Twitter blackout he experienced in Turkey[15].

What is the aim of blocking Social Media when it is so easy to overcome it?
Those who deal with it in the Government think that by banning one Social
Media they can prevent or silent the flow of information. Seriously!? Isn't
there anyone who will tell them that this is nonsense and that it'll come
back to them like a boomerang, multiplied? Apparently not. Obviously, they
are [not] following examples from the past when other countries tried to do

Montenegrin media consultant Ana Bogavac pointed to the lack of protections for
expression via digital media:

@tenaprelec[16] recently adopted leg.doesn't say a word about
newMedia,leaving this gray area open 4abuse by both opposition and those in

— Ana Bogavac (@AnaBogavac) October 16, 2016[17]

Access to Viber was reinstated at 7:30 pm[18], after the polling stations
closed. CDT announced this via one of their Twitter accounts:

Naš Viber Chat je proradio! #izboriCG[6]pic.twitter.com/ic9I5kXPXA[19]

— CDT_CrnaGora (@CDT_CrnaGora) October 16, 2016[20]

Our Viber chat started working again!

Victory for the status quo?

A number of problematic issues arose during the day, from “technical
difficulties” such as providing accessibility to all, to the “atmosphere of a
coup d'etat” which had a negative influence on citizens’ freedom[21], according
to opposition candidate Neđeljko Rudović.

Nedostupno za #OSI[22], zgrada Elektrodistribucije u Herceg Novom #izboriCG[6]

— CDT_CrnaGora (@CDT_CrnaGora) October 16, 2016[24]

The building of public company for Electricity Distribution in Herceg Novi is
not accessible for people with disabilities

Election observation NGOs CDT and CeMI[25] continued to provide information
from the field based on their monitoring activities.

Voter turnout #electionsMNE[8]pic.twitter.com/d4DNho6fnA[26]

— CDT Montenegro (@CDT_Montenegro) October 16, 2016[27]


— CeMI (@CeMI_ME) October 16, 2016[32]

Independent media group Balkan Insight maintained a live blog[33] during
election day. Based on the exit polls, they predicted that veteran Prime
Minister Milo Đukanović[34], the leader of the Democratic Party of Socialists,
has won 36 of the 81 seats in Montenegro’s parliament. This will allow him to
form a majority government, if minority parties choose to join him.

Having alternated between the positions of Prime Minister and President,
Đukanović has long been the president of the Democratic Party of Socialists of
Montenegro[35], which has governed Montenegro ever since the introduction of a
multi-party political system in the early 1990s.

The party was formed in 1991 as the successor of the League of Communists of
Montenegro, which had governed Montenegro within Yugoslavia since 1945.

Bio sam dječak kad je Milo preuzeo vlast, a vjerovatno ću biti i deda, ako
pozivim, kad ode s nje. #izboricg[36]

— Nebojsha Šatara (@FrankoBegbi) October 16, 2016[37]

I was a kid when Milo came to power. If I live long enough, I will probably
be a grandfather when he steps down.

Referring to upcoming elections in Macedonia, and the struggle of the ruling
party chief to remain in power, journalist Rade Marojevic compared Đukanović's
leadership to that of former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski:

Grujevski vata beleske #izbori[38]#Montenegro[9]

— Rade Maroevic (@Maroevic) October 16, 2016[39]

Gruevski is taking notes.

Written by Filip Stojanovski[40] · comments (0) [41]
Donate[42] · Share this: twitter[43]facebook[44]reddit[45]googleplus[46]

[1]: https://twitter.com/CDT_CrnaGora/status/787529346546368512 (link)
[2]: https://globalvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/20161016-Montengro-Bar-CTD-800x490.jpg (image)
[3]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar,_Montenegro (link)
[4]: http://www.vijesti.me/izbori2016/viber-i-whatsapp-opet-rade-sekulic-nece-da-objasni-zasto-ih-je-ukinuo-907738 (link)
[5]: https://www.cdtmn.org/ (link)
[6]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/izboriCG?src=hash (link)
[7]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/CrnaGora?src=hash (link)
[8]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/electionsMNE?src=hash (link)
[9]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/Montenegro?src=hash (link)
[10]: https://twitter.com/TelenorCrnaGora/status/787685513641730048 (link)
[11]: https://twitter.com/TelenorCrnaGora/status/787685620110032896 (link)
[12]: https://twitter.com/TelenorCrnaGora/status/787685685318848512 (link)
[13]: https://twitter.com/CDT_Montenegro/status/787694068415471616 (link)
[14]: https://twitter.com/CDT_Montenegro/status/787694689281531904 (link)
[15]: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/freedom-speech-cant-banned-nemanja-zivkovic (link)
[16]: https://twitter.com/tenaprelec (link)
[17]: https://twitter.com/AnaBogavac/status/787703699569250305 (link)
[18]: https://twitter.com/TelenorCrnaGora/status/787714052499841024 (link)
[19]: https://t.co/ic9I5kXPXA (link)
[20]: https://twitter.com/CDT_CrnaGora/status/787706458855079936 (link)
[21]: http://www.vijesti.me/izbori2016/rudovic-izbori-ne-mogu-biti-okarakterisani-kao-slobodni-907775 (link)
[22]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/OSI?src=hash (link)
[23]: https://t.co/zqJgP314ue (link)
[24]: https://twitter.com/CDT_CrnaGora/status/787622132775878656 (link)
[25]: http://izbori2016.me/index.html#/ (link)
[26]: https://t.co/d4DNho6fnA (link)
[27]: https://twitter.com/CDT_Montenegro/status/787720886359130112 (link)
[28]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/infographic?src=hash (link)
[29]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/MandatesDistribution?src=hash (link)
[30]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/Election2016?src=hash (link)
[31]: https://t.co/IIsxfbFjVl (link)
[32]: https://twitter.com/CeMI_ME/status/787754547989082112 (link)
[33]: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/live-montenegro-elections-2016-10-14-2016 (link)
[34]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo_%C4%90ukanovi%C4%87 (link)
[35]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_of_Socialists_of_Montenegro (link)
[36]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/izboricg?src=hash (link)
[37]: https://twitter.com/FrankoBegbi/status/787720960786964480 (link)
[38]: https://twitter.com/hashtag/izbori?src=hash (link)
[39]: https://twitter.com/Maroevic/status/787691171652968448 (link)
[40]: https://globalvoices.org/author/filip-stojanovski/ (link)
[41]: https://globalvoices.org/2016/10/17/whatsapp-and-viber-blocked-on-election-day-in-montenegro/#comments (link)
[42]: https://globalvoices.org/donate/ (link)
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Date Subject  Author
19.10. o [Montenegro] blocks social media on election day: NewsBeanie

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