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Jeffrey Dvorkin

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How the Internet Can Be a Weapon

Two Iranian journalists (no names for obvious reasons) reported that as the western media concentrates on whether there will be more blood in the streets of Tehran, a couple of angles are being missed and should be pursued.

Some examples:
  • While the youthful opposition to the mullahs is regrouping and planning their next moves, the Iranian regime continues to keep up the pressure, especially on students at Tehran University - a particular hotbed of unrest.
  • Possible angles: who are the leaders of this movement? What are their goals beyond overthrowing the regime? Who do they represent? What are their political ideas for a post-Islamic Iran?
  • Other stories: the Iranian regime has asked China for sophisticated internet blocking technology. Recent "jamming" of Tehran bloggers and websites was effectively completed thanks to Beijing.
  • When Iranians arrive at Tehran airport and present their passports, those who seem most "Westernized" are subjected to a new form of cyber-interrogation. No waterboarding...nothing so unsophisticated. Instead, customs officers check to see if there is any record of the returnees on Facebook, YouTube or twitter. Sometimes, they will put their name in Google to see if they have been politically active.
If they have, then its a quick and direct trip to Evan prison and further questioning.

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