The Iranian regime tries to have as much hold as possible over the people. Many areas of their lives are repressed and controlled. One such area is that of the cyber world.
Iran has a largely young population and – like elsewhere in the world – young people equals tech interested and tech savvy people.
The protests that started in Iran last month spread across the country like wildfire. This is in part thanks to the use of social media and messaging applications. The people of Iran use an application called Telegram Messenger. It is a service that allows them to send videos, messages and photos and is used by millions of Iranians.
The Iranian regime knows that public discontent is often voiced on the internet and it has tried on numerous occasions in the past to put a stop to this by blocking certain services.
Yet, the Iranian regime has shot itself in the foot. It has encouraged the people to use the internet in an attempt to revive the economy that was in desperate need of becoming part of the 21st Century. It was successful in this regard and almost half of all Iranians own a smartphone.
The smartphone allows us to purchase online, do online banking, etcetera etcetera. However, it also allows the Iranian people to connect with the world and access information, videos, and images of anything they want to see.
So it is a double-edged sword for the Iranian regime. It cannot control the every move of everybody in the country, but it is trying. A new solution is being tested by authorities and it involves local control of the internet so people are restricted as to what they can view.
For the past almost four decades, the regime’s control over mass media has been subject to strict controls. For example, radio and TV broadcasts are diffused from state-run media outlets. Journalists are also very heavily restricted in what they are allowed to report. Satellite dishes are also banned but so many people have them that there is very little the authorities can do (other than occasionally going out and destroying them).
Iran is also using the cyberworld as a weapon. One of the biggest cyberattacks it was involved with was the Shamoon virus that hit RasGas and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Hard drives were deleted and a picture of an American flag in flames was displayed on screens of affected computers.
The new plans to restrict access in Iran is similar to the “Great Firewall” of China. The regime is desperate to suffocate any opposition voices that the people inside the country may hear.
The Iranian regime knows that the power of the people and their anger is more than enough to ensure its rule does not last much longer, but it is frantically taking any means possible to ensure this does not happen immediately.
Will restricted internet dissipate the anger that is so prevalent across the country? Of course not.
Source » ncr-iran