Posts Tagged ‘Cyber censorship’

Cyber censorship,free access to the Internet,Internet censorship,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

The Monument of the MEK martyrs - Ashraf 3 - Albania

Iran’s Main State-run Daily Expresses Fear About MEK’s Popularity

The Monument of the MEK martyrs - Ashraf 3 - Albania

The Martyrs Monument in Ashraf 3, the main headquarter of the MEK in Albania, marks the memory tens of thousands of MEK fallen heroes and heroines, who lost their lives to the dictatorship ruling Iran, standing for freedom and democracy in Iran.

Recently, contrary to decades of silence, inevitably, the Iranian regime is admitting the growing popularity and influence of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI), particularly amongst the youth.

MEK peaceful demonstration in Tehran-May 2, 1981

The “Mothers” demonstration, on May 2, 1981, when over 200,000 supporters of the MEK, took it to the streets of Tehran to protest the killing of 2 teenage girls (MEK supporters), who were shot dead for distributing information behind a stand in one of the streets in Mazandaran.

“Due to deep negligence of officials in culture and cyberspace field, MEK has penetrated deeply into our homes and their impact is being felt; this is one in a hundred problems we face in disorderly cyberspace in Iran.” Kayhan, known as the mouthpiece of the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, expressed fear of MEK’s popularity among the youth and added, “MEK easily parade in cyberspace and can promote their thoughts and influence the minds of our youth and teenagers… Just 1,500 of their units are promoting MEK’s ideas to the public round the clock.”

Kayhan projected the Iranian regime’s fraudulent activities on social media, that has led to the closure of thousands of its fake accounts, and whose focus was on emanating disinformation on the MEK, on the MEK itself and accused it of using fake accounts as it usually does to deflect attention to its malign activities. It also complained that the “Telegram” messenger app and other social media platforms are “magnifying” MEK’s messages. It wrote, “MEK’s influence is greater than the state-run media… Support by messaging platforms and social media for the context of MEK’s messages have made this situation even worse… social media and the messaging platforms magnify MEK’s activities.”

The paper implicitly called for repressive and filtering measures to impose new limitations on Iranians free access to the Internet and wrote, “If we had the technology and boosted our domestic messaging apps, we wouldn’t need to depend on our enemies so that the well-known terrorists can contact our children.”

The Iranian regime has relied on censorship and Internet filtering to counter the MEK’s popularity, particularly among the youth.

The unrestricted use of the Internet and social media has become a serious challenge to the mullahs’ regime. The availability of encrypted messaging applications has given the Iranian people the ability to bypass regime filtering to share news and information.

Iranian Regime denies public the Internet access

Internet access is filtered in Iran under the ruling religious dictatorship

As the Iranian people lack any faith in state-run media, they increasingly turn to the Internet and social media networks for information. Over the past year, the MEK has successfully leveraged social media to organize protests and spotlight the regime’s corruption, among other measures. This has helped foster the growth of the protest movement within Iran and has caused panic among the mullahs, who fear widespread rebellion and the ultimate overthrow of the regime.

 

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Cyber censorship,Human Rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Censorship in Iran

Rouhani Admits Iranian Regime’s Efforts to Censor the Internet Have Been Unsuccessful

 Censorship in Iran

Iranian regime under “moderate” Rouhani filters Internet.

On January 21st, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged that the regime censors the Iranian people’s access to the Internet and admitted that the regime has been largely unsuccessful at doing so. Rouhani’s admission was largely aimed at confessing the limits of the regime’s ability to filter content online. He did not show any concern about the right of the Iranian people to freely access information.

Rouhani said, “Well, we were unsuccessful in some of our efforts in recent years,” he said. “We thought it is under our control. We thought it would be filtered if we just ordered so…. What should we do with VPNs?”

 

A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that allows internet users to circumvent government or private firewalls and cloak their online identities to avoid surveillance. These networks are popular in Iran, where the regime imposes restrictions on access to foreign media and social networks.

 

Ahmad Khatami, the spokesman for the Board of Directors of the Assembly of Experts, also made recent remarks about the regime’s attempts to censor the public’s access to online information. Four days before Rouhani’s statement, Khatami said that “everyone agreed that the damages inflicted by the cyberspace were serious” in the Assembly of Experts’ most recent session.

Establishing Order

 

The Assembly of Experts also released a statement that day saying that “the Ministry of Communications, the High Council of Cyberspace, and all related institutions should actively engage in establishing order in the cyberspace and confront the unethical issues and psychological warfare by the enemy, and take serious steps in monitoring and confronting the opposition and unethical networks.”

One day later, Movahedi Kermani, the regime’s Friday Prayer Leader in Tehran, clarified what Khatami meant when he said “establishing order.” Kermani’s remarks were almost identical to Khatami’s, suggesting that he was given the same talking points, but he substituted a key phrase.

Kermani said: “The Ministry of Communications, the High Council of Cyberspace, should actively confront (instead of “engage in establishing order in”) the cyberspace and confront the unethical issues and psychological warfare by the enemy,… and take serious steps in monitoring and confronting the opposition and unethical networks in order to localize the internet and strengthen the domestic information network.”

The Regime’s Attempts to Manipulate Social Media

 

The regime, it would seem, hopes to actively control the Internet as well as filter access to it. Last year, Google, Twitter, and Facebook identified and removed hundreds of false accounts created by the Iranian regime. Many of these accounts were created to spread negative propaganda about the MEK the principal Iranian Opposition.

 

Recently, Google removed several applications developed by the Iranian regime from its app store after a press conference held by the U.S. representative office of the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) introduced the book “Iran: Cyber Repression.” The apps were used to censor and track Internet use by Iranian citizens. The popular messaging app Telegram also revealed efforts by the Iranian regime to collect user information from the company.

Staff Writer

 

 

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