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The protests continue… Even though the foreign press has largely been kicked out of Iran, apparently the Guardian Council is learning that censorship is almost next to impossible in the age of the Internet as the AP is reporting today:

Iran clamped down Tuesday on independent media in an attempt to control images of election protests, but pictures and videos leaked out anyway — showing how difficult it is to shut off the flow of information in the Internet age.

The restrictions imposed by the government made such social-networking sites as Twitter and Flickr more prominent — with even the U.S. State Department calling on Twitter to put off a scheduled shutdown for maintenance.

Iranians were posting items online, but it wasn’t known how much of that information was being seen by others inside the country. And although some of the posts on Twitter appeared to be from users in Tehran, others clearly were not.

Following a massive opposition rally Monday, authorities restricted journalists — including Iranians working for foreign media — from reporting on the streets. They could effectively only work from their offices, conducting telephone interviews and monitoring official sources such as state TV.

For Twitter, the primary hashtag for what is going on in Iran is #iranelection, Foxfier yesterday offered a couple pieces of advice for those of us who tweet.  I’d encourage you to check that out.

AP also mentions that the internet has been a thorn in the side of other repressive regimes:

Government censors and the Internet have often clashed.

This April, protesters in Moldova used Twitter and the Internet when mobile phones and cable news television stations went down.

Myanmar’s military government has cracked down on Internet use by dissident groups, temporarily shutting down international connections and jailing bloggers.

The only way the Iranian government can stop this is to ban complete access to the internet.  If that happens I think we can assume they feel a sense of desperation.

Update: Iran is accusing us of “intolerable” meddling

How is this possible when President Obama said he doesn’t want to be seen as doing that?  Who is doing the meddling?

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4 comments
  1. Did you notice the last two sentences in that WSJ article?

    “As the public uprising has intensified, so has the government's attempt to control the flow of information. Internet speed is reduced, cellphone service is interrupted every evening and text messaging is blocked.”

  2. I did see that. They have been successful in some ways in blocking information, but not all. They've had a hard time with Twitter. People have been setting up proxy servers, etc to help them.

    China has experience similar frustration with Twitter, they haven't been able to completely shut down all information flow.

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