Pay no attention to the executions behind the curtainArseh Sevom — In this week’s overview, we learn that the short term political aims of sanctions have long term effects on the most vulnerable. Improved relations may actually lead to some ease in US sanctions. This would most likely only sanctions that are the result of executive orders. Sanctions signed into law by the US congress are unlikely to be changed. Over 100 tons of illegal drugs were seized in Tehran. We are not talking about recreational drugs here, many of them were difficult to find treatments. In a carnival-like atmosphere, the Iranian military destroyed equipment for over 800 satellite connections with tanks and bulldozers. Despite the kinder, gentler face Iran is showing the world, executions continue at a record rate and Internet freedom is at an all-time low. Will the Iranian government start thawing relations with its own population next?
Arseh Sevom — The elections are coming, which means candidates are finally registering, the internet is slowing, and paranoia is high. In the latest crackdown, dogs walked in public are being confiscated. Iran hasn’t budged on the press freedom index, hanging on to its spot as one of the six worst countries in the world. Workers refuse to let May Day go unnoticed: they celebrate, strike, and protest poor wages and even worse conditions. Ten political prisoners in Evin were transferred to solitary confinement, while permits have been issued for mining in protected natural areas.
Arseh Sevom — This weekly review features thinly veiled threats from the state to publishers, more censorship from officials, continued suffering of prisoners of conscience, and efforts to revive the extinct Caspian tiger. Publishers vs. the Islamic Republic The Islamic Republic’s clash with private publishers has reached alarming levels and, according to a recent report [...]
For those of you who read Arseh Sevom’s recent post about Walid Al-Saqaf (click here) and his circumvention tool, Alaksir, you know the Iranian government is cracking down on the internet using deep packet inspection. This means they are examining every piece of information going through the cyber pipes. Now Global Voices reports that a [...]
Arseh Sevom — Reports from the Islamic Republic of Iran about internet speeds, work to create a parallel cyber Iran, and the growing success of filtering systems paint a picture of desperate efforts to exert control over the population. Iran is not alone in its efforts. North Korea has their own “intranet” called Kwang Myong (“light” or “hope, fair, just, open”). The North Korean version duplicates external content it deems acceptable. Iran’s new closed intranet is expected to do the same, in a cyber version of what the state already does in traditional media by cherry-picking content from international sources and editing or translating it in ways that often distort the original meaning.
ARSEH SEVOM — The anniversary of the fall of the Shah and the success of the revolution (February 11) is now marked by decreased internet connection speed, increased security, and fears of demonstrations in Iran.
The Wall Street Journal and other sources are reporting on the government of Iran’s plans to create its own internet. The regime already controls the speed of its internet, keeping it artificially low. Since 2005, they have also been planning to create a closed internet, a la China and other repressive governments, with content controlled by various ministries and with separate e-commerce access.
Current head of economic affairs in Iran, Ali Aghamohammadi says:“We can describe it as a genuinely ‘halal’ network aimed at Muslims on a ethical and moral level.”
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In this piece, authors Babak Rahimi and Elham Gheytanchi examine the roots of digital activism in Iran. They present cases showing the ways in which internet technologies have been used by reformist clerics and the women’s movement as a means for communicating their message to a broader audience and maintaining opposition messages. Iran’s Reformists and [...]