Tag Archives: Iran

Iran expected to permanently cut off Internet by August

Millions of Internet users in Iran could soon be permanently cut off from the Web, social networks, and e-mail. In a statement released last week, Reza Taghipour, the Iranian minister for Information and Communications Technology, announced it plans to establish a national intranet within five months in an effort to create a “clean Internet,” according to an International Business Times report. “All Internet Service Providers (ISP) should only present National Internet by August,” Taghipour said in the statement. Web sites such as Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo will be blocked and replaced by government-administered services such as like Iran Mail and Iran Search Engine, according to the report. The government has already begun a registration process for those interested in using the Iran Mail that will verify and record user’s full name and address. Taghipour told the Islamic Republic News Agency in January that a firewalled national Internet would soon become operational but no specifics were given as to when that would happen.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57411577-93/iran-expected-to-permanently-cut-off-internet-by-august/

 

Twelve countries names as ‘Enemies of the Internet’ in study

Joining usual suspects like Syria, Iran, China and North Korea among the so-called Enemies of the Internet, Bahrain and Belarus have joined a list of 12 countries, which the international press freedom advocate, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), says are guilty of cyber censorship and restricting the freedom of information. To mark this year’s World Day Against Cyber Censorship (March 12), RSF has released its latest report on the world’s worst offenders of Internet censoship. The “Enemies of the Internet” list includes Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. RSF says Bahrain and Belarus were added to the list after the organization found those countries to have increased efforts to restrict the flow of information. But the countries have not been ranked individually. Matthias Spielkamp from the German branch of Reporters Without Borders says the methods of cyber censorship are too varied and too numerous to allow a clear ranking. For example, China, Iran and Vietnam feature for the imprisonment of 120 bloggers and online activists, while Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are cited for censorship. Several online activists were killed in 2011 in Bahrain, Mexico, India and Syria. A second report just published details those countries which RSF says are “under surveillance.” It includes 14 countries: Australia, Egypt, Eritrea, France, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. But the organization admits that even this list is incomplete. Its main report also mentions Morocco, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Tajikistan

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15802909,00.html

IWMF honours four women for courageous journalism

Adela Navarro Bello, general director and columnist for Zeta news magazine in Mexico, Parisa Hafezi, bureau chief for Reuters in Iran, and Chiranuch Premchaiporn, director of Prachatai online newspaper in Thailand, collected this year’s Courage in Journalism awards in Los Angeles, organised by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Navarro works for Zeta in Tijuana, Mexico where, along with many other parts of the country, the drug trade has empowered cartels willing to intimidate and murder journalists who investigate their operations. The co-founder of Zeta, Hector Felix Miranda, was murdered in 1988 and co-editor Francisco Ortiz Franco was killed in 2004. Navarro, who has reported on their murders and the investigations that followed, has received death threats during her time at the magazine. Hafezi, Reuters bureau chief in Iran, has been threatened and intimidated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the wake of the country’s disputed 2009 election, according to the IWMF. Hafezi had her press accreditation revoked last year for six weeks in the wake of violent protests over the election. She was reportedly interrogated by authorities and put under surveillance. Chiranuch Premchaiporn, director of Prachatai online newspaper in Thailand, is facing between 20 and 70 years in prison, depending on reports, over failing to delete critical remarks about the Thai monarchy on the site. A lifetime achievement award was given to veteran BBC correspondent Kate Adie, who has been reporting from warzones for the past 40 years.

http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/iwmf-honours-four-women-for-courageous-journalism/s2/a546442/

Leading Iranian journalist gets 30 year writing ban!!!

Iran has sentenced award-winning woman journalist Jila Baniyaghoob to jail for one year and banned her from writing for 30 years over post-election unrest, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. Baniyaghoob, 39, “has been sentenced to one year in jail and banned from journalistic work for 30 years,” moderate daily Shargh said. Baniyaghoob, who had been working for a string of best-selling but now closed reformist newspapers, was arrested on June 20 last year along with her husband and released on bail two months later. She was charged with propaganda against the Islamic regime over her reports on last year’s disputed presidential election and the protests which followed the official results, the Kaleme.com website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said. The International Women’s Media Foundation gave Baniyaghoob its courage in journalism award in 2009. Her husband Bahman Ahmadi Amooi, who is an economic journalist, has been jailed for five years on security charges over his articles in reformist newspapers.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iZbWjF8MVBWanFdoCJpZv6m1gc0g

‘Newsweek’ writer jailed for 13 years in Iran

A reporter working for Newsweek magazine has been sentenced in absentia to 74 lashes and more than 13 years in prison, raising concerns about a new government crackdown ahead of the anniversary of disputed presidential elections. Maziar Bahari, who holds dual Canadian and Iranian citizenship, was among scores detained amid a crackdown after elections last year. He spent nearly four months in jail but was released on bail of IRR 3bn (GBP 200,000) and allowed to join his British wife in London in October. The journalist wrote in this week’s Newsweek that the sentence was handed down on Sunday on charges including assembling and conspiring against state security, collecting secret and classified documents, spreading anti-government propaganda and insulting the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr Bahari said he was also sentenced to one year and 74 lashes for “disruption of public order”. He was arrested in June as security forces clamped down on widespread anti-government protests. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the sentence.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/newsweek-writer-jailed-for-13-years-in-iran-1971361.html

Germany, France, Britain want EU action against Iran broadcast bans

Germany, France and Britain have proposed measures against Iran for blocking foreign media broadcasts in a joint letter to other European Union members, the German foreign office said on Wednesday. In the letter, signed on behalf of Germany by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the countries called for the EU to take measures against Iran. The move comes after Iran has blocked numerous foreign radio and television broadcasts via satellite for several months. French daily Le Figaro reported that possible sanctions could include stopping companies such as Siemens or Nokia from delivering technologies to Teheran that allow the interception of emails or mobile phone conversations. A joint declaration could be signed as early as next week, when EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/314557,germany-france-britain-want-eu-action-against-iran-broadcast-bans.html

Cuba Criticizes US Ruling on Internet Access

Cuba says US ruling loosening Internet services to island meant to aid ‘subversion’

Cuba says a U.S. ruling that makes it easier for companies to provide Internet communications services on the island is meant to destabilize the country, not loosen Washington’s 48-year economic embargo. “The government of the United States has said clearly that its objective is to use these services as a tool of subversion and destabilization,” Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s North American affairs office, said Monday. Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced it would allow the export of Internet communications services and software such as instant messaging, e-mail and Web browsing to Iran, Sudan and Cuba to help people in those countries communicate. Cuba has the lowest level of Internet penetration in the Western Hemisphere. What services exist are prohibitively expensive for most people on the island, and many Web sites are blocked. Opponents say Cuba’s communist government intentionally keeps the Internet out of reach in an effort to control information. Cuba counters that the U.S. economic embargo is to blame for blocking construction of a fiber optic cable, leaving the island dependent on slow, expensive satellite links. Vidal Ferreiro said the new measures announced by the Treasury Department would apply only to individuals, not businesses or institutions, and would do nothing to loosen the grip of the embargo, which Cuban officials refer to as a “blockade.”

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=10108623

Battle for human rights increasingly fought on Internet: US

The United States said Thursday that the battle for human rights is increasingly being fought on the Internet as China, Iran and other states try to block access by political activists and others. In its 2009 report on human rights abuses worldwide, the State Department highlighted how the Internet has become a battleground for supporters and opponents of fundamental rights like freedom of expression and assembly. It was “a year in which more people gained greater access than ever before to more information about human rights through the Internet, cell phones, and other forms of connective technologies,” it said. “Yet at the same time it was a year in which governments spent more time, money, and attention finding regulatory and technical means to curtail freedom of expression on the Internet and the flow of critical information,” it added. Such governments also sought “to infringe on the personal privacy rights of those who used these rapidly evolving technologies,” it added. In Iran, after the contested presidential elections, authorities cracked down on new media such as Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. In China, the government “increased its efforts to monitor Internet use, control content, restrict information, block access to foreign and domestic Web sites, encourage self-censorship, and punish those who violated regulations. “The government employed thousands of persons at the national, provincial, and local levels to monitor electronic communications,” the report said.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h–cERFr83WftbAIZHPdjM73osnw

Obama’s U.S. ‘declares war’ on closed societies as it unleashes licensed Internet technoloy on Iran, Cuba and Sudan

Seeking to exploit the Internet’s potential for prying open closed societies, the Obama administration will permit technology companies to export online services like instant messaging, chat and photo sharing to Iran, Cuba and Sudan, a senior administration official said Sunday. On Monday, he said, the Treasury Department will issue a general license for the export of free personal Internet services and software geared toward the populations in all three countries, allowing Microsoft, Yahoo and other providers to get around strict export restrictions. The companies had resisted offering such services for fear of violating existing sanctions. But there have been growing calls in Congress and elsewhere to lift the restrictions, particularly after the postelection protests in Iran illustrated the power of Internet-based services like Facebook and Twitter

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/world/08export.html

Anonymous video of Neda Aghan-Soltan’s death wins Polk award

The George Polk Awards, one of the most important annual journalism prizes, has honoured the anonymous video of the death of Neda Aghan-Soltan during the 2009 Iranian election protests. The new videography category reflects the increasing importance of user contributions to journalism in an era where cameras are commonplace. It is the first time in the 61-year history of the awards that a work produced anonymously has won. More and more news organisations integrate user-created content professionally in their news reporting. CNN and Fox News have already both launched their own user reports and rely on them frequently to enrich the material of their reporters after the content has been checked and rated by experts. The anonymously filmed 40-second video of Neda’s death was forwarded to the Guardian and the Voice of America, along with five other individuals. One of them uploaded it on Facebook, from where copies spread to YouTube and were broadcast within hours by CNN. Being filmed as she lay dying on the street Neda’s death became the iconic visualisation of the Iranian protesters questioning the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The George Polk Awards in Journalism are a series of American journalism awards presented annually by Long Island University in New York

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/feb/16/george-polk-awards