national internet

national internet

Arseh Sevom–Wow, is Iran ever in the news. Nuclear negotiations, prisoners of rights, fertility treatments, and sanctions relief all feature this week. What we didn’t include could fill an entire newspaper. Arseh Sevom congratulates physicist Omid Kokabee on the award of the Andrei Sakharov Prize from the American Physical Society and calls for his immediate and unconditional release from prison. We are watching other developments with interest.


Post image for Iran Civil Society – Sanctions Block Delivery of Medication to New Policies Limit Educational Choices for Girls

We would be remiss if we didn’t congratulate Iran’s Olympic athletes, so congratulations to them. This week, the head of Iran’s Hemophilia Center reminds the world of the unintended consequences of the sanctions: blocked payments for life-saving medications. Girls and women are told they can no longer study a wide range of subjects from engineering [...]


Post image for Children Learn Their Rights, Activists Under Pressure, Dogs Arrested

Arseh Sevom — It was hard not to be concerned over the state of civil society in Iran last week with the arrest of human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, the sentencing of Mansoureh Behkish who is a member of the Mourning Mothers, and the ongoing battle against free speech and free information. The one positive [...]


Post image for Iran’s National Internet Project: Keepin’ It Clean With Censorship

Arseh Sevom — Claims that Iran will launch a “national internet” at the end of August, cutting off access to Google, Hotmail, and other external services, were denied by communications minister Reza Taghipour. He issued a statement denying plans to cut  access to the internet calling the whole thing a “13th of Farvardin prank” [the [...]


Post image for National Internet Hoax? Pay Deflates, Prices Inflate, Goldfish Released

Butcher of the Press leaves…Not! Regular readers of Arseh Sevom’s weekly review won’t be surprised to find that former Tehran prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, is topping headlines once again. This time with rumors of his resignation after a contested promotion to director of the biggest financial holding organization in Iran, Social Security Organization [Sazman-e Tamin-e Ejtema’ie]. [...]

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Post image for Threat of War, Press TV Attacks, Parliamentary Elections, Amnesty Reports

This week was dominated by news of parliamentary elections, and threats of war, Asghar’s Oscar continued to bring some joy to people and to be a topic of discussion all over the world. In the streets of Tehran some even handed out candy to celebrate. The New York Times has provided a flurry of opinion [...]


Post image for Controlling the Internet by Creating a Parallel Cyber Iran

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.

In addition to decreased bandwidth, the Islamic Republic is in the process of creating a parallel cyber-world. Instead of spending time and energy filtering sites using a blacklist, the regime is creating a “whitelist” of acceptable sites. Everything is blocked except sites deemed appropriate by the regime. It’s a kind of “shoot first, ask questions later” policy. Instead of the “old” Orkut — an early social media site which was a hit in Iran before it was filtered — and the “new” Facebook, they offer websites such as Instead of Youtube (for video uploading) they offer and instead of Google’s Blogspot they have Even these sites can end up filtered at “sensitive” times, such as the days leading up to the anniversary of the revolution. In addition, content that does not meet their terms of use is quickly deleted from view.


The Editor. May 30, 2011

A ‘Halal’ Internet

Post image for A ‘Halal’ Internet

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.”

Read the full post.