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Iran May Shut Down Internet During Election

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the can't-stop-the-signal-mal dept.

Censorship 234

daveschroeder writes "'The Iranian government might block private access to the Internet for the general legislative election on March 14, two Iranian news outlets reported Monday. In 2006, the authorities banned download speeds on private computers faster than 128 kilobytes per second. The government also uses sophisticated filtering equipment to block hundreds of Web sites and blogs that it considers religiously or politically inappropriate. Many bloggers have been jailed in the past years, and dozens of Web sites have been shut down.' It would appear that Iran's own government is more a threat to the nation's internet connectivity than the fragility of the undersea cable network."

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234 comments

A few more notes: time for perspective? (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636066)

This was trimmed from the original submission:

Slashdot readers may recall the assertions [slashdot.org] , roundly dismissed [iht.com] by undersea cable experts, that the cables were deliberately cut to sever Iran's internet connectivity, which, contrary to popular belief, never occurred [slashdot.org] .

Many fervently believed the cable "cuts" were a prelude to war; still others insisted they were part of a plot to prevent the opening of the Iranian Oil Bourse [wikipedia.org] . Interestingly, no one could explain how cutting only one of several mechanisms of Internet connectivity to Iran would stop the bourse from opening...

Well, there was no secret invasion of Iran, and the Iranian Oil Bourse, after many self-incurred delays, still opened [www2.irna.ir] , to little fanfare. The opening of the bourse -- which doesn't deal in US dollars -- was supposed to be the turning point that sent the dollar into a freefall; however, myriad other factors seem to be hurting the dollar just fine on their own.

Why am I mentioning this? Because I think it is incredibly important to take a step back, get some perspective on things, and realize that actual totalitarian regimes are far more dangerous and damaging to individual freedoms and the free flow of information, in a very real and tangible sense, than even the wildest imagined conspiracy theories.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (-1, Flamebait)

oceaniv (1243854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636132)

Wait, are we supposed to sympathize with something a country is doing that's good for them and reassures their sovereignty over their resources? Oh I forgot Iran is TEH AXIES OF EIVIL. They're not allowed to be sovereign.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636236)

You mean, blocking the internet? I don't see the connection. Way to come out in favor of government censorship though, there's not many people willing to take such a stand.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (2, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636280)

As was mentioned by more than one person during that time, you missed another possibility: That the cables were cut/damaged in order to provide cover for a splice.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636454)

And the hundreds of non-US and non-Western individuals involved on the flotilla of vessels needed for undersea cable repair -- which are constantly roving the world repairing cables -- don't notice this, and/or have all kept it a secret?

We have other means [wikipedia.org] of undersea cable traffic interception and surveillance. And even if the cuts were cover for the insertion of a tap at another location by a vessel like the Carter, there isn't any way to prove that one way or another.

I think the most interesting thing is that people seem to be looking for explanations that somehow involve nefarious US activity -- anything other than a string of coincidental cable failures in one geographic region. That aspect is especially interesting: given the sophistication that would be needed to carry out such an operation undetected from a technical standpoint, we somehow don't have the foresight to make it unnoticeable in other ways?

The "nefarious activity" in relation to Iran's internet connectivity is right under our nose, and it's the draconian restrictions the government imposes on its own people, not that a splice might possibly have been installed somewhere as part of an operation that requires incredible technological sophistication and wherewithal, but can't manage to make cable cuts not appear too "obvious".

The cable operators have numerous mechanisms to detect splices installed in their lines. So unless the cable operators themselves are in on it -- as some have alleged -- I don't think this hypothesis is plausible, either. And if the cable operators are in on it, then we wouldn't have needed to cut undersea cables and install splices, would we?

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637004)

And the hundreds of non-US and non-Western individuals involved on the flotilla of vessels needed for undersea cable repair -- which are constantly roving the world repairing cables -- don't notice this, and/or have all kept it a secret?

If they wanted a splice, they could have done it a hundred miles away and no one would have noticed before the breach was fixed at the other end. Especially, if they used a submarine team.

Though, there are more efficient ways of doing things so I doubt it, but they could do it without noticing if they wanted to spend a few billion or two.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (4, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637132)

The US cut the cables for no reason, only to send the world's conspiracy theorists on a wild goose chase while the real preparations for war are made.

It's the only logical conclusion.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (1, Insightful)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636412)

The scariest thing about Iran is that they're a theocracy hell bent on breeding fundamentalists. The murky water surrounding Iran's nuclear interests is also hinting towards being a very real threat linkage. [wikipedia.org]

I personally believe that if anyone needed to be invaded or at least occupied in some way, it should have been Iran. Not that I condone that kind of action without a lot of rationalisation first. But it makes a lot more sense to me than invading Iraq. But then again, Saddam didn't try and kill my daddy. That'd probably sway me.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (2, Informative)

gatzke (2977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636884)

GWI never really was completed. Iraq fired at planes enforcing the no-fly zone many times before GWII.
http://www.historyguy.com/no-fly_zone_war.html [historyguy.com]

WMDs were found in Iraq, "although not of a militarily significant capability" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction [wikipedia.org]

Why invade Iran? There are other options.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_bomb [wikipedia.org]

Someone needs to be in the mideast to oppose the Iran theocracy. Replacing a secular dictator with a pro-US secular democracy would be nice long term, if it works out that way...

The US is propping up far worse governments (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636584)

One of the biggest issues people need to look at is how the Bush administration is funding the regimes of FAR, FAR more oppressive governments, which far worse human rights violations, than Iran.

And yet, the Bushites would have us believe Iran is their "starting point" for spreading freedumb and duhmockracy throughout the world... and kindly ignore their lust for all the oil underneath that country.

Case in point is the Bush administration's recent attempt to overthrow the democratically elected leaders of Venezuela... and yet the Bush administration is still funding Columbia, a state which routinely kills judges who try reforming the country, or politicians who try fighting corruption, or especially the systematic murders of people who try organizing labor in Columbia. But hey, let's ignore all that, and please ignore how much Bush's friends lust for Venezuela's oil. The important thing to remember is that Hugo Chavez called George W Bush the devil.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (0, Troll)

br00tus (528477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636652)

"actual totalitarian regimes are far more dangerous and damaging to individual freedoms and the free flow of information, in a very real and tangible sense, than even the wildest imagined conspiracy theories"

Actual totalitarian regimes - you mean like the CIA puppet regime in Iran before the Iranian revolution, whose SAVAK tortured so many secular leftists and liberals to death that when the puppet was finally kicked out, the revolution was directed from the churches, to the surprise of everyone (including the USSR)? Totalitarian regimes like the Israel occupation regime over the occupied West Bank that the Palestinians live under? Totalitarian regimes like US supported Saudi Arabia, where censorship and government make Iran look like a paradise of freedom?

I would not make the claim that Iran has completely fair elections or that there is no censorship there. However, the government is widely supported by the population, and the government alternates between hardliners and reformers, both of whom go by their policies. Despite painting Iran as a country full of religious fanatics, there is a large secular professional class there, whom the US claims to support but does exactly the opposite, it tries to destroy it as it has been trying to do for decades. The US government steps in and bans coders like Roozbeh Pournader [advogato.org] from coming to do some programming in Google's Summer of Code. It wants Iran to be and to be perceived as a bunch of all isolated religious fanatics.

there you are (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636774)

the one who holds the usa responsible for all evil in the world, including things its enemies do, in a creative line of reasoning that excludes the existence of all other players and agendas

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22637020)

You're right, the CIA shouldn't have installed the shah. But that's getting to be old history - for 30 years and running, Iran has had extremely minimal contact with the US, and its government is as repressive as it has ever been. Immediately blaming the US's actions 55 years ago for Iran's current shit government is intellectual laziness.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637034)

It wants Iran to be and to be perceived as a bunch of all isolated religious fanatics.

No, Iran itself wants to be, and wants to be perceived that way. There's no other way to explain it, and the frequently repeated ravings of its top elected official. You seem to think that Iran is a reasonable place full of professionals that vote their conscience. If that's true, then the expression of their will is their current leader, and their current program of funding all sorts of extremist militants, terrorists, and cutthroat muderers who send mentally disabled women into markets full of children to blow up bombs. No? That's NOT what the people of Iran want? Then why do they put forth a government that acts in that way, and talks in terms of wiping other countries off the map? Or perhaps you're wrong, and the place IS ruthlessly controlled by militant religious crazies. You can't have it both ways. Either it's NOT a moderate, forward-looking country with a professional middle class that can shape the government - in which case you've been painting the wrong picture and you know it, OR, those people do have liberty to do as they choose, and the government you see there now - and its actions - IS what they choose... in which case you're also painting the wrong picture. Reformers there are shot down at every turn - both literally and figuratively.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (2, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637236)

To be completely fair, I sure wouldn't want people to judge me or make assumptions about me based on the leader that we (Americans) elected and the actions of the current administration.

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637334)

To be completely fair, I sure wouldn't want people to judge me or make assumptions about me based on the leader that we (Americans) elected and the actions of the current administration.

How about the last administration, and its current attempt to become the next one? How about congress and the senate?

I did explain why (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636914)

The cable cuts weren't meant to disrupt communications completely, they were to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt among potential non-dollar oil investors. Simple, logical explanation. Now, I ask you all, why might someone in the intelligence business want us to believe that the cable cuts were mere coincidence?

Re:I did explain why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22637072)

they were to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt


Wait! MicroSoft cut the cables?!??! ;)

Re:I did explain why (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637316)

How on earth does Iran's internet connectivity being barely disrupted -- never mind that the cable operators and undersea cable experts completely dismissed claims there were any intentional cuts -- "spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt among potential non-dollar oil investors"?

Was it supposed to be a signal that if anyone invests in Iran's bourse, the US is going to incompetently attempt to disrupt their internet connectivity, and utterly fail at doing so? Better yet, since no major entity interested in investing in Iran's bourse believed that the cable cuts were deliberate, how would the disruption affect their decision making?

(I take it you were one of those who believe it was a US plot against the Iranian Oil Bourse?)

Interesting argument style you have of late, by the way. You don't really counter anything [slashdot.org] I say [slashdot.org] , which is all easily verifiable...you just toss around "intelligence business", as if that somehow removes validity from easily verifiable statements.

And if I were really part of some subtle US intelligence plot to disrupt the bourse -- which, if it were, we all would have done an absolutely atrocious job of -- why on earth would it be ridiculously easy for me to be identified? Would it instead not be far more effective for me to be completely anonymous?

Or are we going to have some Princess Brideesque, "But you'd know that I'd know that you'd know," back-and-forth now, where you claim it's all part of the subtle trickery?

I have an idea: how about you realize that the cable failures, which didn't substantively affect anything related with Iran's internet connectivity at all, were all just coincidental failures, like the numerous other partial and complete failures of undersea cables that happen constantly? There are fleets of ships that go around the world doing nothing but undersea cable raising and repair.

Or is it really more plausible to you that I'm an overt intelligence officer assigned to secretly astroturf slashdot, to throw people off of the truth that the US cut the cables, somehow making the cuts seem accidental, in such a way that even the cable operators themselves claim them to be accidental, and not actually disrupting any nation's connectivity in any meaningful way, all as a plot to scare people away from the Iranian bourse, though they don't admit that publicly, even though, if they believed that, it would be in their -- and Iran's -- interests to do so?

I mean, even Iran doesn't believe this garbage. And they're more than content to go around saying "no one likes Americans" [cnn.com] .

But really, if you do believe that, bravo. The bounds of your imagination are indeed limitless!

Re:A few more notes: time for perspective? (1)

Beefaroni (1229886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637014)

the wildest imagined conspiracy theories
even the blood drinking, shape shifting, reptilian Illumanati ? now those are pretty freaking scary.

CENSORSHIP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636072)

Say it with me in unision, in national pride - CENSORSHIP!

Alive and well in 2008!

I swear some countries seem like it's the year 0008!

Technology (4, Interesting)

bigdaddy25fb (1166129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636082)

So many people in the technology world seem to be worried about censorship of user's rights online, and some must certainly work for the vendors who supplied Iran with the "sophisticated" filtering technology. My question is why are companies supplying countries with a known track record for human rights violations and crimes against people speaking out against the government?

Re:Technology (2, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636170)

Because Iran has money, and these companies are not morally opposed to money.

Re:Technology (1)

bigdaddy25fb (1166129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636276)

Still, some of these companies must use OSS software and employ OSS developers, and it seems that that is where most of the outcry comes from. You'd think that people would stand up for their morals and beliefs rather than the almighty dollar. Ah, how cliche that sounds, but how sweet it would be if it were true.

Re:Technology (2, Interesting)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636384)

Corporations are not people, and corporations have no morals. The individual people working for a corporation usually have very little say as to the actions of the corporation as a whole--so no matter how much they squall, the only change they're likely to make is to their own employment status.

Re:Technology (1)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636262)

That's the beautiful irony about capitalism. I love capitalism, it seems to work better than any of the other ideologies that humanity has tried. But let's face it, a true capitalist would sell the rope that hangs him.

Re: Capitalism (4, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636448)

Can I suggest an upsell?

*License* the rope. Patent the knot design.

Get subscribers to sign up for the feature presentation. Then copyright the video.

Sell advertising slots. Tie in action figures complete with movable rope.

Air a documentary on E!. Stir up the talk show networks with a recorded last message.

Write a computerized algorithm for robots to tie knots. Patent that.

Then no one can die this way again without your estate's permission. Sue them posthumously with previously prepared legal documents.

what bullshit you spout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636594)

Obviously the people above any criticism are the ones implementing this (according to you "criminal") act.

Guns don't kill people, people do
Firewalls don't censor the internet, people do

Repeat this once, so you can appear to have intellectual capacity exceeding the leve of a 5 years old :

firewalls don't censor the internet, oppresive governments do
(or take it a bit further, and closer to (a part of) the truth :)
firewalls don't censor the internet, muslims do, because of islam

Absolutely atrocious. (2, Funny)

SchlimpyChicken (1250578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636088)

This is typical and not too surprising. The nice thing for them is there's no chance of us going to war with either Hillary or Obama in office. They'd have to bomb the capital building... and even then...

Re:Absolutely atrocious. (1, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636304)

Neither Billary nor Barry O would realitate even if we were nuked. Obama has already stated that he wants to stop development of future combat systems as well as unilaterally eliminate nukes. Apparantly, castrating our defense is a big vote getter in the Primaries. We'll see how well it flies in the General Election.

Re:Absolutely atrocious. (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636474)

unilaterally eliminate nukes

Citation needed.

Re:Absolutely atrocious. (3, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636496)

http://anangrydakotademocrat.blogspot.com/2007/10/obamas-goal-eliminate-all-nuclear.html [blogspot.com]

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/us/politics/02obama.html [nytimes.com]

As well as a speech he made last week that I cannot find online at the moment. He said 'greatly reduce' at first, then alluded that the US should eliminate them to 'lead the way'.

Then again, posting truth gets you modded as Flamebait around here.

I rest my case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636748)

People cannot handle the truth when it shatters their illusions. That's ok I have karma to burn.

-DC

Re:I rest my case (1)

realthing02 (1084767) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637106)

While I don't think you're flamebait, you are misrepresenting the facts a bit. Obama wants to eliminate nukes throughout the world, not just the US. You also fail to mention that George bush is dismantling weapons at a rate which will put "the total number of American nuclear weapons would be at the lowest levels since" IKE's days.

The sky might be lower, but it certainly isn't falling.

Good for him. (2, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637008)

If the US keeps nukes, we should shut the fuck up about anyone else getting nukes. Hell, we should give every nation their own nukes and delivery system. MAD you know. That's the only use for nukes, so you might as well do it right.

Since the US will never do that, I think we should get rid of ours. Seems our real threats are goat-herders with 50-year-old tech and more stomach for the fight than the nation that took it to their homeland.

Don't need nukes for that, we need high tech weapons to pick out the terrorists from civilian populations.

Re:Good for him. (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637152)

Hell, we should give every nation their own nukes and delivery system.


Sounds like a good idea. I can think of a few places we could do that. Heck, we can even demonstrate that the Nuke and Delivery System were 'capable" and use the Later to deliver the Former. ... not what you meant? ... shucks.

Re:Good for him. (2, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637190)

Hell, we should give every nation their own nukes and delivery system. MAD you know.
The problem is that the whole MAD thing falls apart when you're dealing with religious fanatics that view martyrdom as a path to glory. It's like threatening to shoot a guy wearing a suicide vest.

MAD also gets a little edgy when you're dealing with dictators [cia.gov] who are just bat-shit crazy and can't be trusted to act rationally.

Re:Good for him. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637262)

MAD works great until a religious zealot that thinks they are the hand of God gets them.
Hence the nervousness about Korea.

You know why IRAQ is so difficult for us? because we worl real hard to reduce casualties. Now, it's not perfect, but if this was 50 year ago we just would ahve level every major city in Iraq killing all of it's citizens instead of trying to ferret out the ones we want.

No we should never have gone in, but we are there. So don't be so damn myopic.

Re:Absolutely atrocious. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637148)

Obama has already stated that he wants to stop development of future combat systems as well as unilaterally eliminate nukes.
You are lying. What those links say is that Obama would use diplomatic means in an effort to eliminate nuclear weapons everywhere, and that we would reduce our own stockpiles. Nothing you cited says he would unilaterally eliminate our stockpile. He never said any such thing.

Re:Absolutely atrocious. (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637046)

Can't handle the truth? Or do you just not pay attention to the candidate you're so in love with?

Flame away.

How is this modded flamebait? (1, Troll)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636610)

The poster reiterated comments made by Obama. If you don't agree with the comments, don't vote Obama. Don't shoot the messenger.

Re:Absolutely atrocious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636456)

Did you forget that Hillary supported the war and still supports her decision to vote for it? Obama wasn't in office for that vote, but you can bet he'd go to war before someone bombed the white house (assuming that wasn't the first act of war against the US).

What they *wouldn't* do would be to preemptively decide that Iran needs the Light Of Democracy and attack them even though they, erm... didn't really do anything. Like Iraq? We invaded them because... we thought they were hiding something from the UN? That it turns out they weren't hiding? Oh, and of course they had nothing to do with 9/11. So yea, we pretty much invaded them for no reason at all. Which I *really* hope that Hillary or Obama won't do.

-1: horseshit (4, Informative)

thegnu (557446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636670)

This is typical and not too surprising. The nice thing for them is there's no chance of us going to war with either Hillary or Obama in office. They'd have to bomb the capital building... and even then...

This is bullshit. Hillary has been prowar, except when campaigning. The Clinton administration had a couple war efforts. Obama's foreign policy guy is Brzezinski, who isn't specifically anti-war. Only when it's a terrible, terrible idea.

Can we not mod up baseless political bullshit from either side? Thanks.

Re:Absolutely atrocious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636968)

The nice thing for them is there's no chance of us going to war with either Hillary or Obama in office.

Obama, maybe. Watch out if Hillary is elected though - she'll be proving she has a pair as big as any man's, and she'll be using our armed forces to do it.

And if Hillary's elected, you young men can count on a draft. Guaranteed.

Some info (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636120)

I am posting anonymous because I know some classified information that I shouldn't, let alone reveal. Their "sophisticated equipment" is a Halliburton project.

The New Psych Ops (4, Insightful)

jeramybsmith (608791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636130)

Run uncensored internet to the target country. It wouldn't surprise me if this actually happened.

Re:The New Psych Ops (2, Insightful)

kamran1919 (872201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636476)

This is the best suggestion I have heard. Put a high power data satellite up there in the Middle East. Flood the market with very inexpensive transceivers and low profile antennas. US will save billions later trying to change the regimes to something the local population does not want.

Re:The New Psych Ops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636606)

It would surprise me, as an uncensored internet sets a precedent.
TFSummary says: "It would appear that Iran's own government is more a threat to the nation's internet connectivity than the fragility of the undersea cable network". I'd add that the threat to the nation's internet connectivity (defined as the ability to get whatever content one feels like to download", mainly comes from the government in all nations. Not necessarily always a bad thing, but the governments pushing for control are a real trend.

Re:The New Psych Ops (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637002)

And it wouldn't even be that hard. Just park a satellite over the target country. Many people in Iran already have illegal TV satellite dishes, easily upgrade for network access.

It's a CONSPIRACY! (2, Funny)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636142)

It's a CONSIPRACY!
Wait... is it still considered a conspiracy if it's out in the open and it's definitely 100% not the US or oil companies? I'm not sure which I prefer, prelude to war or the possibility that the Iranian leadership could become MORE crazy.

Being a naive westerner, it appears to me that the freedom-hugging ideas that float around on the internets don't seem to have an effect on political/religious thinking of countries like Iran.

Does this indicate that it is having an effect?

Good for them (0, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636154)

An ignorant populace is a stupid unproductive populace. It couldn't happen to a more deserving place.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636244)

Agreed Achmed, Fox news is our unwitting ally!

Re:Good for them (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636336)

Wow, nice hate. Iran's leaders may be a bunch of retarded assholes, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little sympathy for the people they're fucking over.

Should I call you an inbred idiot because you're being led by one of them? Didn't think so.

Re:Good for them (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637342)

Insight full my ass.

He didn't mention anything about the people, it was about the people controlling the countries.

Were you just sitting at home in your smelly underwear looking for any pathetic reason to spout of your rant? It sure seems that way.

Your comment is not insightful in any way.

Re:Good for them (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636348)

An ignorant population is one that a government loves, they are easy to dupe for things like tax rises that don't look like tax rises, pr press releases that are treated as real news, etc. etc.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636624)

Sounds sorta like the new lease on my apartment. We're not raising your rent, we're just no longer paying for your water/sewer/heating bill. So, the cost to live in this apartment is going up... sounds like a rent increase to me.

Re:Good for them (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636656)

The govt. would benefit from an ignorant unproductive populace. The only people who'd benefit from an informed productive populace would be said populace... and everybody outside of Iran.

A call to action (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636194)

In 2006, the authorities banned download speeds on private computers faster than 128 kilobytes per second.
OK folks, it's high time someone developed some tight compression algorithms so the Iranians can watch live DissidentTV on the Intertubes at 127Kbps.

More seriously, we need to research better real-time speech-to-text and dissident video and audio outlets need to provide transcripts for faster downloading and allow real-time participation over slow pipes.

Re:A call to action (1)

oceaniv (1243854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636410)

I am kind of conflicted about this information, half the people I know in Iran (generally from non-capital cities) have really shitty internet access, but the few Tehranians I know seem to be able to easily d/l watch videos I send them from various random sites (or else they're just pretending? heh).

Re:A call to action (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636674)

A 'virtual newsreader' might be interesting to develop. It'd involve some decent text to speech combined with a 3d model with various facial expressions and gestures.

It'd be run with a script that would include words and markup for gestures and facial expressions.

All the advantages of a newscast, only a hundredth of the bandwidth required.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636290)

Does anyone know if the recent cable cuts affected internet connectivity in Iran and by how much? I think it might have been an attempt the the Iranian government to limit internet connectivity in the region, and in Iran in particular for political and other purposes.

They are getting the hang of it (4, Insightful)

Englabenny (625607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636296)

I remember listening to the Persian/Canadian blogger who at Wikimania 2005 (Frankfurt) talked about blogging, activism and internet censorship. He mentioned that the Iranian government was pretty lax compared to China and many others, and speculated that it might continue like that. However, they are really picking up speed now sadly. Probably because the iranian blogosphere was so hopeful and full of momentum in 2005.

Before everyone foams at the mouth (3, Insightful)

oceaniv (1243854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636322)

I certainly don't support this, however I am curious as to what the real rationale is and for HOW LONG the internet is gone. For example, here in Canada we have a media blackout on election results during the day the elections are running... obviously that's not a problem in Iran because the TV is estate controlled, but I can definitely see something like that being used to justify internet closure. I personally don't support any kind of blackout since it sets precedent, but you kind of have to keep in mind that without a constitution and censorship tendencies, legislation like this passes through without a blink.

Re:Before everyone foams at the mouth (2, Interesting)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636978)

In many countries there's preemptive lost of rights during elections to ensure order (for example large groups of people cannot be together, and you cannot drink before 2 days, or use a car, etc) So, given that I live in one of those countries, this idea to disable internet during the elections does not sound abnormal or repressive to me. It would be an annoyance if my country decides to copy the idea though, since that would make a boring day...

A few Thoughts (3, Insightful)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636338)

1. So it will only block private access. Does this mean you can still log on to the net from work?
2. What is this meant to do? I see no real security benefits to blocking the internet.
3. In speculating after what happened in Africa, is this an attempt to block outsiders from knowing what is going on in the country, or to keep outsiders from influencing the country, or to keep their own people unaware of what is going on in their own country? No matter which one, info will come out eventually, so the only thing I can see happening is that people can't tell others what is going on at the polling places before it is too late. But either way it would be too late, because there wouldn't be time for others to come and help out if there is forced voting.

I guess I'm just confused as to how this is supposed to help them out, as it only makes them seem overly secretive, with little to no long term benefit.

Re:A few Thoughts (2, Interesting)

reallocate (142797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636878)

It's an effort to control the information available to Iranians. The regime does not want news and reporting coming in from sources they do not control. That's fundamental for a totalitarian state.

As for assuming " info will come out eventually", that's usually not the case. When the only information available comes from sources operated by the state or vetted by the state, there's little opportunity for information to simply "come out".

Gee, there's a surprise... (1, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636370)

...a fundamentalist regime that doesn't much like free thought, free association or free speech. I bet ol' George Bush can't make up his mind whether to bomb them or hug them. And would anybody like to take a bet on whether Yahoo served the bloggers up to Iran's secret police on a platter?

Good side? (1)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636390)

Maybe with a controlled media and no internet they are just trying to prevent the media from declaring a winner at 23% precincts reporting, just so they can say they were the first to announce it.

What about Saudi Arabia, the US? (0, Troll)

br00tus (528477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636394)

Javed Iqbal was sent to jail in the US. His crime? Hooking up people to be able to see Hezbollah's satellite station. Of course Hezbollah is a terrorist group - if you live in a current or former British colony, like the US. For some reason Holland considers it as such as well. The rest of the world sees Hezbollah as what it was, the organization that represents and defends the Shia of southern Lebanon, many of whom were driven out of their homes in Palestine by Jewish European colonizers over the past half century. Why is the fact that Javed Iqbal is languishing in jail not a headline, but some country the US is banging the war drums against is?


Let's not even talk about Saudi Arabia, where we don't even talk about attempts of censorship since Saudi Arabia always has total censorship of media. Also, if you want to criticize the elections in Iran and interference and ballot-striking when someone is too reform-minded, not that there isn't anything to criticize, why not talk about Saudi Arabia where they don't even have elections. Saudi Arabia doesn't have problems with their electoral process it doesn't have problems at all. Of course, Saudi Arabia always does what the rich people in the US tell it to do, always does what the "US" (meaning the interests of very rich Americans) wants it to so it is rarely criticized. Iran has the gall to kick out the CIA installed puppet and run their own government so they have to constantly be bashed, US puppet regimes like Saudi Arabia which are much worse get a pass. US jailing people for letting people see Al-Manar gets a pass as well. What a fraud. The biggest enemy of a secular, social democratic, pan Arab Middle East has always been the United States. The US wants the Middle East to be one big Saudi Arabia/Egypt/Jordan/Pakistan - dictatorial US/Israel bootlickers whose citizens get sent to madrassas instead of schools. The mujahideen and Hamas were creations (heavily funded and supported) by the US and Israel to fight and destroy the secular, social democratic, pan-Arab forces in their country - have fun sucking up the rewards.

Re:What about Saudi Arabia, the US? (2, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636858)

Because Hezbollah and Hamas target civilians. Period.

If their attacks restricted themselves to Israeli soldiers, military installations & equipment, and political and military infrastructure, they'd have more sympathy in the West.

Firing rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas; bombing markets, discos, stores and buses loses them all credibility and plants them firmly in the realm of "terrorist organization". They use the threat and practice of violence against an unarmed civilian population as a weapon.

Considering Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May of 2000, according to U.N. Resolution 425, Hezbollah was to have disarmed. Did they? No. They aren't to be trusted and need to be treated accordingly.

Re:What about Saudi Arabia, the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22637100)

Considering Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May of 2000

While I agree with everything else you say, this one little quote might be a little off. They withdrew from Lebanon in 2000...and then blasted the hell out of it again two (?) years ago.

Re:What about Saudi Arabia, the US? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637176)

True, but didn't OCCUPY any land, which is what the Resolution was about.

Re:What about Saudi Arabia, the US? (1)

b3m87 (1176511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636952)

well anyone who hates independence day is most certainly a terrorist. Hezbollah called on "Muslim believers to boycott the movie" Independence Day due to the fact that a Jewish character played by Jeff Goldblum helps save the world from an alien invasion. Hezbollah called the science fiction movie, "propaganda for the so-called genius of the Jews and their alleged concern for humanity."

<sarcasm>wait, i don't understand (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636416)

this story doesn't help us to understand why the usa is the center of all evil in the world. where is my giant list of us cold war atrocities? where is my creative line of reasoning as to explain how the usa is responsible for what its enemies do?</sarcasm>

Re:wait, i don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636694)

Obviously you are a neo-con and your opinions are therefore automatically beyond the pale, not worthy of discussion.

/

Justification ? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636472)

Remember, this is slashdot. Political correctness is required. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT state that the Iranian government is an islamic theocracy and is doing exactly what it's religion is asking.

Despite every member of that government stating that this is islam, ie. censorship, gay executions, repression ("islam" in arabic), all are essential tools for living the islamic religion. Ie. doing censorship, genocide on gays, starting wars etc is obviously all part of being a muslim (muslims disagree, allah, however does not (e.g. kuran 2:216), then again allah also says muslims should lie about this)

In short, state censorship, despite being a central tenet of islam, which is long implemented by this islamic government, with islamic punishments for dissent (ie. death), remember all these constant violations of human rights, and basic decency ... ... obviously has NOTHING AT ALL to do with islam.

(so speak the gods of political correctness, ensuring more people die needlessly every day)

* if you need an excuse, this is all bush's fault, and obviously certainly NOT of the appeasement tactics of the democrat president "carter" in the 70's

Re:Justification ? (1)

oceaniv (1243854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636552)

"state censorship, despite being a central tenet of islam" I must've missed this "tenet", damn religion, it's so sneaky. So basically multiple countries within Asia (including east Asia, China, North Korea et al), various African nations, parts of South America, parts of Europe, the US adhere to Islamic laws (according to you). Islam is really taking over. Put on your tinfoil hat and go hide in your bunker, won't you?

Re:Justification ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636818)

google "asma bint marwan"

Some prophet ordered a woman killed, with her baby sleeping on her, because she said something wrong about him. Unless you wish to argue said human being is a monster (and he is, obviously).

Therefore violently supressing criticism has always been a central part of islam. Besides, have you been ... alive ... the last 2 years ?

From the "holy" texts of islam :
"She used to revile Islam, offend the prophet and instigate the (people) against him. She composed verses. Umayr Ibn Adi came to her in the night and entered her house. Her children were sleeping around her. There was one whom she was suckling. He searched her with his hand because he was blind, and separated the child from her. He thrust his sword in her chest till it pierced up to her back. Then he offered the morning prayers with the prophet at al-Medina. The apostle of Allah said to him: "Have you slain the daughter of Marwan?" He said: "Yes. Is there something more for me to do?""

Obviously yes this guy is a monster. But that's really islamophobic of you !

Re:Justification ? (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637198)

Some prophet ordered a woman killed, with her baby sleeping on her, because she said something wrong about him....Therefore violently supressing criticism has always been a central part of islam.

I was going to be more elaborate, but if you don't see the problem in your logic, you must have been a business major, or are a teenager. The Unabomber (a white man) sent bombs to a lot of faculty at universities...therefore suppressing education has always been a central part of the white man's way.

Bush May Restore Democracy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636494)


in the United Gulags of America.

Thanks for your PatRIOTism [patrobertson.com] .

Remember: Vote Communists For Freedom

PatRIOTically Forever,
Filipino Monkey

So what's all this (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636590)

I hear about the internet being able to "route around the damage"? Doesn't appear to be the case, does it? Besides, it doesn't seem to have much effect on elections anyway. The Americans are still electing crooked politicians in spite of the internet. It doesn't present much of a threat to the status quo as one would hope. Still waiting for an effective wireless mesh so that we can cut the corporate cable...

Re:So what's all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22637026)

I hear about the internet being able to "route around the damage"? Doesn't appear to be the case, does it?

I don't think this claim was meant to be interpreted in as wide a fashion as you are suggesting. No body expects the internet to route into a sub-section which has been totally isolated. What they would expect is that people whose access normally goes from A via B to C will find their access is re-routed via D when B is 'taken out', with B being 'the whole of Iran' in this case.

To put it another way, yes it can 'route around' the damaged part - but probably not into it or out of it.

Compression not the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22636654)

If some country decides to "throttle" access to the Internet, the better response is for sites outside of that country to also start throttling access from that country. Typically a few privileged people in the country get unrestricted access, and if those people start to see their access being controlled by everyone outside the country, we will see less control by that country.

sometimes affects more than Iran (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636682)

Curring underseas cable, changing the name-server like Pakistan just did and shutting off YouTube for hours, sometimes affects alot more than thie own country. The InterNet is robust from attack but not invulnerable.

US is to Iran, as Osama is to US (4, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22636718)

The infringement of civil liberties in Iran is being justified to counteract 'American interference', just like the wiretapping is getting justified by 'terrorist plotting'

What's the big deal? (3, Informative)

WH44 (1108629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637056)

They'll be cutting private internet access for one day, right?

They make contradictory claims about why, but in the end, it is a one day inconvenience for internet users. The most sinister reason I can think of for them wanting to shut it down is to prevent riots caused by posts alleging election improprieties (real or imagined). Really sinister.

Am I missing something? What's the big deal?

Iron Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22637110)

(warning: this is completely off topic)

Did anybody else read the title as "Iron Man Shut Down Internet During Election"???

I was like "Say Whaaatt!?! [youtube.com] ".

Sorry.

Just shut it all down in Iran. (2, Interesting)

strredwolf (532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22637174)

Just shut it completely down. Null-route everything in Iran. Nothing in, nothing out, make it a great big echo chamber. If they want to completely screw their population they shouldn't half-ass it. They need to full-ass it.
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