For the last month, Azerbaijani internet users have been unable to make international calls on Skype and WhatsApp. The blockage has not been officially acknowledged, only noticed by Azerbaijani users of the popular services. As is often the case with Baku, it’s an open question whether the decision was motivated by paranoia, greed, or some combination of the two.
First, the case for paranoia. There are strong indications that those in the Azerbaijani leadership who believe an international “anti-Azerbaijani underground” exists are increasingly influencing decision-making, and contributing to the government’s tendency to take bold steps against perceived enemies that, in times past, would have been weighed against worries of upsetting allies in the United States and European Union.
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