The role of the Internet and social media in Iran protests.

the-threat-of-social-media-to-the-iranian

By Masoud Dalvand

In this article, I will write about two important issues related to the developments in Iran. 

First: The role of the Internet and social media in Iran protests. 

Second: The suppression of the mullahs’ regime and the impact of US sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Are these two issues related to each other? Of course they are. Social media is the only opportunity that the Iranian people, especially the protesting youth and women, and all the political and social activists, can make their voices heard. And the start of US initial sanctions against the Iranian regime and its effects on its decaying economy is a very important development. Considering the censorship and suppression of Iran, the social media can be used to measure the effects of the sanctions in Iran. So I’ve looked at these two issues in the following article.

The Internet and especially social media play a very important role in social activities in Iran. You know that Iran is a country in which a religious dictatorship is ruling on, so there is no open public media. Radio and television networks and the press are entirely under the control of the government and, in particular, the supreme leader of the Khamenei regime. Public and private websites are under intense censorship and control. In Iran, a ministry called the Ershad, whose work is a censorship of all cultural, artistic and press affairs, in addition to the Iranian regime’s police, has a special Internet police that It’s work is to monitor and filter and suppress all individuals and media on the Internet. They have very simple and humanitarian activities, such as defending the rights of women or children, and other social problems. In 2012 about six years ago, a blogger in Tehran, Sattar Beheshti, was arrested and subjected to torture only for publishing several articles on social problems in Iran and the poverty of people and corruption in government institutions.

Many social and environmental activists in Iran have now been arrested for informing people about the devastating effects of mismanagement on the nature of Iran, the drying up of lakes and rivers, or the reflection of social dilemmas, such as the suppression of women and child labor, and the denial of their rights. They are Prisoners and tortured! The latest example is a human rights lawyer named Nasrin Sotoudeh who was accused of espionage! and five years in jail, and many other examples that I don’t have the time to name all of them.

At last as the most important examples, many young people, including a 26 years old young, named Reza Otadi, in the city of Karaj, were killed by regime repression agents during protests in August, but the regime’s official media tried to reverse this crime by the name of protesters! If not social media, the reality of this regime’s crime was not easily disclosed.

In the protests last January, when thousands of protesters were arrested, several of them were killed, but the regime claimed they had committed suicide! Also in here were social media that exposed the facts of these murders and crimes of the mullahs’ regime.

Therefore, in such a situation that there are no free media in Iran and independent journalists cannot reflect the political and social developments in Iran, the Internet plays a very important role in the Iranian society, especially social media, despite the suppression and filtering of a large role in the developments of Iran. For example, Telegram has a lot of features due to its features and the regime cannot hack it, so that a quarter of the total Telegram users in the world are about 40 million people in Iran.

It was sent to the world through the Telegram, videos and news about the Iran protests in January 2018. In the past eight months, in spite of the Telegram filtering by the Iranian Ministry of Communications, the people, especially the Iranian youth and Iranian women, use this social media to reflect the news of demonstrations and gatherings and strikes in various Iranian cities, and thus in the space Seduction and total tyranny in Iran are the Internet and social media that transmit the constantly changing social movements in Iran all over the country and out of Iran.

The second issue is the suppression of the mullahs’ regime and the impact of US sanctions on the Iranian regime.

The withdrawal of the United States from Iran deal and the implementation of  the first phase of sanctions  against the Iranian regime have an important impact on the developments inside Iran, in the sense that the Iranian regime has spent money gained from Iran deal on terrorism and the expansion of the regional intervention of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria, Yemen Iraq, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries, or use these funds inside Iran to expand the ballistic missile program and threaten the Iran neighbors or US troops and free shipping in the Persian Gulf.

An important part of the proceeds from the sale of Iranian oil and gas was spent on the construction of nuclear weapons as a guarantee of the survival of this government. Therefore, the withdrawal of the United States from Iran deal and economic sanctions against Iran actually limits the resources of the nuclear and missile activities and terrorist activities of the Iranian regime because in Iran, the government does not play any role in provide the basic needs of the people or the well-being and progress of the Iranian society.

The wealth of Iran is being stolen by the regime’s authorities, such as Khamenei Vali-e Faqih and other officials also parliamentarians, as well as the corrupt IRGC, or spending on nuclear, missile and terrorist destructive activities.

Therefore, this American action is not only a pressure on the people of Iran, but on the contrary, the pressure on this government is corrupt, plunderer and terrorist. So it is the weakening of this regime, and helping to revive and uprising the Iranian people against tyranny and religious dictatorship.

With the censorship and filtering of social media such as Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., the Iranian regime tries to prevent the role of the Internet and social media in Iran’s developments. Also by arresting, torture and killing civil and political activists, creates a climate of intimidation in society, but today’s developments in Iran show that the regime has not succeeded.

If the regime has not succeeded in preventing of the Iranian people’s will for freedom until now, so they cannot prevent the spread of protests and their organized resistance and uprising by the rebellious hubs of the PMOI/MEK. Future developments will show this fact.

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#free-iran-2018, #internet, #iran, #iran-protests, #iran-regime-change, #mek, #pmoi, #social-media

How to Tackle the Iranian Regime’s Internet Censorship

Internet censorship in Iran

The Iranian Regime has long struggled to restrict access to the internet in order to keep its censorship machine running smoothly.

After all, they saw the damage the internet could do to their brutal regime when images and videos of the Regime’s violence toward peaceful protesters went viral on social media in 2009.

But things have gotten worse for the mullahs in recent years, with the increased popularity of secure, encrypted messaging applications (i.e. Telegrams, Whatsapp) that make it harder for governments to monitor an individual’s internet traffic.

A new report by Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) sheds light on the Regime’s desperate campaign to adapt its surveillance and censorship equipment in order to survive now that the internet is so commonplace.

The report, entitled “Iran: Cyber Repression: How the IRGC Uses Cyberwarfare to Preserve the Theocracy”, exposes how the Regime covertly and overtly spies on its citizens and spreads propaganda across social media.

The NCRI also provided a list of Regime-created variations of the Telegram app, promoted as Farsi versions, which the Regime wanted to trick the public into downloading in order to spy on their internet activity, identify and arrest activists, and introduce malware that would prevent the user from accessing opposition channels.

The most downloaded of the Regime’s apps is Mobogram, developed by Hanista, a front company for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

The Regime even slowed down or blocked traffic to the official Telegram app to force people into downloading their versions.

The Regime is specifically targeting Telegram because it has over 40 million users in Iran and was widely used by protesters in the uprising at the start of 2018.

The Regime even got its malware-filled apps onto Google Play and Apple’s App Store, which violates the terms of service for both stores. Google has since identified one and removed it, but there are more on there.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the NCRI’s Washington office, said: “The Iranian regime is currently hard at work to test the success of these apps on the people of Iran first. If not confronted, its next victims will be the people of other nations.”

Jafarzadeh added that the unit responsible for this surveillance is the same one tasked with cyber warfare against the West.

What can be done?

The Iranian Regime is unlikely to impose a total internet blackout as they fear repercussions on their already bankrupt economy, which will fuel social unrest. That’s why they’re trying to maintain control with cyber espionage.

• The tech community must work with governments in order to counter the Iranian Regime’s censorship efforts

• Internet service providers should work with the Iranian Resistance to identify the front companies and developers that are making and distributing malicious apps on behalf of the Iranian Regime

• All app stores must investigate the apps on their site and remove malware-inflicted apps exposed by the NCRI

• Telegram should revoke the Iranian Regime’s developers access to its Application Programming Interfaces, so that they can no longer create malware-infected versions

#censorship, #internet, #iran, #iran-protests, #iran-uprising, #ncri

Iran Regime’s Senior Mullah: Cyberspace Is a Blow to Our Lives

Iran Regime_s Senior Mullah- Cyberspace Is a Blow to Our Lives

The speaker of Iran regime’s Assembly of Experts,  Mullah Ahmad Jannati, announced Khamenei’s “a few hours” meeting with a number of cyberspace “experts”, adding that “a move is to be made” after the meeting.

 

Janati also added that “Cyberspace is a blow to our lives. If they took away (blocked) the cyberspace, we wouldn’t have so many problems. I have said that we cannot totally block the cyberspace but we can slow it down.”

جنتي لعنتي

Mullah Ahmad Jannati

According to the state-run Tasnim news agency affiliated to terrorist Quds force, on Thursday January 25, Janati announced this issue in the joint meeting of the Assembly of Experts’ Presidium with the internal commissions.
He did not mention the content of the meeting, but added that “they are supposed to do make a move. But it’s important to know what to do and who should do it.”

Without mentioning the details, he added that “we must dismiss the people who are incapacitated and hire the mighty ones. So there should be changes in this organization.”

Jannati added in his statement that “they could control it earlier and prevent it from going so fast… We cannot stop it at all, it’s impossible, but we can reduce it.”

The Head of the Assembly of Experts quoted some people but did not name them and said: “They say that it is already too little late and we did not stop them in the recent events and disturbances arose.”

The question is; What is really the horror of the mullahs regime? If the internet slows down or disconnects, their problem is solved?

As I wrote in one of my previous articles, Iran’s Problem Isn’t the Internet; It’s the Regime.

The Iranian Regime is blaming the current popular uprising in the country to two main factors: access to the internet and Iran’s enemies abroad. They believe that the enemies of the Iranian Regime are joining together to undermine the Regime and rile up the people via social networking sites.

Of course, the actual reason for the protests is Regime corruption and a failure to meet the needs of its people and the only enemies of the Regime that are responsible for the protests are the Iranian people themselves.
Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and others in the faction of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have blamed President Hassan Rouhani for the widespread access to the internet and a lack of official control over it.

Indeed, Iranian Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said on

January 4: “The Internet is considered to be a source of damage that destroys homes and creates many problems for families and young people, Internet

and, unfortunately, no effort is being made to direct it. If we do not think of a solution for the Internet, and for the foreigners’ plots, a harsh future awaits us. We must block the active channels that aim to destroy society’s morality, to denigrate the sacred values, and to destroy society’s security.”

However, given the high levels of internet censorship in Iran prior to the uprising, it is almost impossible to follow the logic of an internet used by the Regime’s enemies to create havoc online and stir up the protests.

So what is the Regime doing in response to the protests? Are they meeting the public’s demands for pulling out of costly foreign wars? Are they revising the budget to provide subsidies for the poor?

Nope. They’ve instituted a brutal crackdown on the protesters, resulting in at least 50 deaths and at least 8,000 arrests and they’ve also increased internet censorship- going so far as to block it entirely in some regions- and have even proposed the creation of an intranet for Iran, to block sites that they consider to be dangerous, like Instagram, or a Regime-run social network.

They now consider internet use in Iran to be akin to letting an enemy into your home. Some have even demanded that the Rohani government apologize for their failure to develop a Regime-controlled intranet before.

The Regime is so scared of their people being able to contact the outside world (especially Western media and culture) that, on January 6, they announced that English studies would now be banned in government and non-government elementary schools.

#internet, #iran, #iran-protests, #iran-regime-change, #iran-uprising

Iran’s Problem Isn’t the Internet; It’s the Regime

Anti riot forces of Iran regime

Iran protests January 2018- Anti riot forces of the regime

The Iranian Regime is blaming the current popular uprising in the country to two main factors: access to the internet and Iran’s enemies abroad. They believe that the enemies of the Iranian Regime are joining together to undermine the Regime and rile up the people via social networking sites.

Of course, the actual reason for the protests is Regime corruption and a failure to meet the needs of its people and the only enemies of the Regime that are responsible for the protests are the Iranian people themselves.
Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and others in the faction of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have blamed President Hassan Rouhani for the widespread access to the internet and a lack of official control over it.

Indeed, Iranian Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said on

January 4: “The Internet is considered to be a source of damage that destroys homes and creates many problems for families and young people, Internet

and, unfortunately, no effort is being made to direct it. If we do not think of a solution for the Internet, and for the foreigners’ plots, a harsh future awaits us. We must block the active channels that aim to destroy society’s morality, to denigrate the sacred values, and to destroy society’s security.”

However, given the high levels of internet censorship in Iran prior to the uprising, it is almost impossible to follow the logic of an internet used by the Regime’s enemies to create havoc online and stir up the protests.

So what is the Regime doing in response to the protests? Are they meeting the public’s demands for pulling out of costly foreign wars? Are they revising the budget to provide subsidies for the poor?

Nope. They’ve instituted a brutal crackdown on the protesters, resulting in at least 50 deaths and at least 8,000 arrests and they’ve also increased internet censorship- going so far as to block it entirely in some regions- and have even proposed the creation of an intranet for Iran, to block sites that they consider to be dangerous, like Instagram, or a Regime-run social network.

They now consider internet use in Iran to be akin to letting an enemy into your home. Some have even demanded that the Rohani government apologize for their failure to develop a Regime-controlled intranet before.

The Regime is so scared of their people being able to contact the outside world (especially Western media and culture) that, on January 6, they announced that English studies would now be banned in government and non-government elementary schools.

#internet, #iran, #iran-protests, #iran-uprising, #protests