Posts Tagged ‘Iran’
For the first time since 2009 protests, Iranians are free to tweet without using special software. Have the Iranian authorities finally decided to bring down the Iron Curtain?
An Iranian man uses a computer in an Internet cafe in Tehran, Iran.
Vahid Salemi, File / AP
Iranians were surprised to discover Monday that for the first time in years they could get online without using complicated software to bypass their country’s firewalls.
In 2009, Iranian authorities blocked social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter after they discovered that people were going online to organize for the Green Movement protests against the Iranian regime. Many turned to virtual private networks (VPNs) to get online.
On Monday, a few of them took to Twitter to celebrate.
Internet users in Iran were surprised when Facebook and Twitter suddenly became accessible for the first time in four years this week, but the government says the move wasn’t intentional. On Tuesday, officials said a technical glitch is to blame for the apparent reversal of Iran’s ban on social media, dispelling speculation that the government may be easing web restrictions under the leadership of President Hassan Rouhani.
Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, secretary of a government agency on web regulation, says the glitch appears to have arisen from one of Iran’s internet service providers (ISPs), and that officials are looking into the matter. According to the New York Times, the sites were once again blocked by Tuesday morning.
It hasn’t been outrightly confirmed by the government of Iran, but at least some within the nation’s borders are now able to access to both Twitter and Facebook. For those keeping score, public access to the networks has been banned since 2009, shortly after the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, seems fairly convinced that Iran itself should not be restricting its citizens to information available via social channels, and a number of trusted accounts — including Rouhani himself along with The New York Times‘ Thomas Erdbrink — have tweeted in recent hours without the use of a proxy. It’s unclear whether the lift is intentional, or if it’s scheduled to remain permanently, but we’re obviously hoping it’s a sign of meaningful change.
Filed under: Internet
The United States Navy and the Obama administration have actually refuted Iran’s case that it captured a ScanEagle surveillance drone in December, 2012, however according to the Fars News Company, Iran is insistent that it has put clones of the ScanEagle into manufacturing. Fars, a news agency thought by Western news groups and viewers to have ties to the Iranian government, reports that copies of the ScanEagle have currently been put into service by the Iranian military.
Iran declares to have been hit by ‘hefty’ cyber attack, pins slowdowns on coordinated hacking campaign
Whatever you think of Iran’s politics, it’s difficult to deny that the nation has actually regularly been the target of internet-based attacks that sometimes go past the originator’s plans. If you believe High Council of The online world assistant Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi, the pressure is just worsening. He informs Iranian media that the nation is under “continual” digital bombardment and was simply hit with a major attack on Tuesday that bogged down neighborhood net access. Behabadi unsurprisingly contends that the attacks are deliberate efforts to undermine Iran’s information, nuclear and oil facilities, with a finger implicitly pointed westward. While it’s no formula that the country’s enemies wish to reduce what they see as a rush to nuclear weapons, it’s challenging to know just how much of the accusation is severe versus bluster: we’ve seen specific smartphone users who consume more than the “a number of gigabytes” of traffic that supposedly caused national turmoil in the most current occurrence. No matter the exact nature, it’s likely that residents stand to lose as Iran fences off the internet to keep outside influences, hostile and otherwise, from getting in.
[Image credit: Amir1140, Wikipedia]
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Iranians have been having trouble accessing YouTube, Gmail and other Google services for some time now, however their digital globe could be expanding even smaller– Iran announced today that it prepares to shuffle citizens onto its very own domestic variation of the web. Reuters reports that officials plan to link citizens to the national details network that’s currently in usage at government agencies. Iran wishes to finish the transition by March of next year, and is already taking steps to isolate its population from certain worldwide services. “Google and Gmail will be filteringed system throughout the country till additional notice,” an Iranian official added, noting that the ban would certainly begin in “a couple of hours.”
Some residents, such as the Iranian Pupils’ News Agency, are crediting the ban to recent protests stimulated by a trailer for an anti-Islamic film on YouTube called Innocence of Muslims, however the government has made no official remark on the explanation behind the ban. The state isn’t clear on the fate of the international web in Iran, either– although it has discussed producing an isolated nationwide network before. Here’s wishing the brand-new network will be a compliment to the Persian internet, and not a substitute.
[Picture credit: yeowatzup, Flickr]
President Obama may be quite cozy with tech — what with his predilection for the iPad and those town hall meetings on Facebook — but he’s well aware of its dark side, too. Today he announced that the US will freeze assets and cancel the American visas of Iranian and Syrian agencies tracking dissidents and pro-democracy groups via satellite, computer and phone networks. Among the entities getting the blacklist treatment are the Syrian cellphone company Syriatel, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iranian internet provider Datak Telecom. Amid election-year pressure to confront Iran, Obama also addressed the ongoing threat of the country acquiring nukes, but also paid lip service to social media’s role in a democracy. “These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them,” he told an audience of 250 people, according to Reuters. Still, given the limited impact of previous sanctions against Iran, it remains to be seen just how much of an effect Washington’s actions have on the human rights situation in either country.
There’s dealing with internet comments, and then there’s this. According to a statement from Reza Taghipour, the Iranian minister for Information and Communications Technology, Iran will be shutting off access to the world wide in around five months, as it flips the switch on a nationwide “intranet” that’ll act like one of the more strict corporate firewalls you may have come in contact with. The reason? It’s looking to provide its citizens access to “a clean internet,” which is loosely translated into “an internet sans freedom.” Instead of providing access to Google, Gmail and Hotmail, users will have to register for an Iran Mail ID — which “mandates authentic information pertaining to a person’s identity, including national ID, address and full name.” Evidently, it’s all to prevent access to the internet that exists today — one that “promotes crime, disunity, unhealthy moral content, and atheism” in Taghipour’s mind. Crazily enough, he’s right about all of that, but it’s a small price to pay for access to things like this, no?
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ZTE has said it is going to scale back its business dealings with Iran after it was revealed the company sold the country’s largest telecommunications company a surveillance system that can be used to monitor both the voice and data traffic of Iran’s citizens. The revelations came in a Reuters piece on Thursday, which stated that the manufacturer had signed a contract worth $ 130.6 million with the Telecommunication Co of Iran last year. In addition to the surveillance system, a packing list associated with the contract also revealed several US-made hardware and software products — despite the fact that there is a ban on the sale of US technology items to Iran. In response, a ZTE spokesperson told Reuters that “we are going to curtail…
Iranians are now being monitored at internet cafes. The government is requiring that the cafes collect identifying information for each user and record the sites that customers visited — and hold on to that information for six months. Iranians are no strangers to internet restrictions — they’ve had to live with a censored version of the web for years. Sites like Facebook are blocked within Iran, and there have been concerns that the government is going to launch a country-wide “genuinely halal network” to replace the true internet. That intranet doesn’t exist yet, though some suggest that the government is still testing it. The Guardian reports that an expert with knowledge of the network said it’ll solely be used internally for…