Iran targets dissent on the net

By Derek Sooman on
A new president in Iran has sparked off many concerns about free speech and human rights in that country, but it has also sparked concerns about the Iranian people's access to the Internet. The government in Iran seeks to control what can and can't be seen on the Net by the Iranian people, and currently authorities seem to be tightening their grip. The OpenNet Initiative, a partnership of researchers in the US, Britain and Canada, has been monitoring what blocking of the Net there seems to be in Iran, and how that blocking is taking place. Naturally, it has been found that Iran is blocking porno sites, but it is also doing something more than that. Iran seems to be actively targeting dissident groups, it has emerged.

"The Communist Party of Iran, mujahideen groups outside of Iran, sites talking about the monarchy, news outlets like the Voice of America, things like that are being targeted in Iran."
Blogs and sites that help you get around internet filtering have also been targeted by the Iranian government for blocking. However, when compared to the blocking that China imposes, Iran's tactics are pretty tame, and relatively unsophisticated. The Chinese block content in a centralised way at the national level, whereas the Iranian government relies on the country's various internet service providers to assist with its censorship.

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