Blogs and Iran

The Telegraph has a good story on blogs in Iran and the regime’s fruitless efforts to contain them.

But the Iranian authorities are fighting a losing battle to crush these new outlets of dissent. As fast as one perpetrator is tracked down and closed, another rises in its place and takes up the cause.

The authorities have reportedly spent millions on programmes designed to filter cyberspace and block access to controversial sites, with names such as “regime change Iran”, “free thoughts on Iran” and “women against fundamentalism”.

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  • http://www.mguhlin.net/blog Miguel Guhlin

    Posted a response in my blog. Should be available mid-day on November 30th.

  • http://www.marketerblog.net Leslie Jump

    Actually blogs and other forms of social media are picking up momentum across the Middle East. There’s a large media conference in Dubai this week, hosted by the Arab Thought Foundation, which includes blogs among other topics. (http://www.arabandworldmedia.org/) The conference has set up a blog and is having blog clinics. (http://www.vhg2.com:16080/weblog/awm/)
    I’ve seen reports which estimate the number of blogs in Iran at over 700,000. (http://www.blogherald.com/2005/10/10/the-blog-herald-blog-count-october-2005/) It’s exciting to see the development of these forms of media in markets where mainstream media has such overwhelming problems with political structures and economic models.

  • blowback

    Leslie, you are a bit too optimistic I think. There are nowhere as many as 700,000 active Iranian blogs, and any such numbers are those inside and OUTSIDE of Iran.

    The intelligence agency of Iran (SAVAMA) is more than capable to monitor the blogs within Iran, and filter out those outside of Iran.

    When you subscribe to the internet in Iran, you need to provide your name and address, which is then associated with the IP address assigned to you.

    There is no way for a blogger to escape the secret police. Many bloggers have been picked up by the secret police and will continue to be picked up. Many have been incarcerated. There is very little future to blogging inside Iran, unless the blog is apolitical or pro-regime.

    Fact is that when you don’t have the freedom to voice your opinion and criticize the state – this fact gets reflected in all the instruments of communication, including the internet.

  • J Kolenovsky

    Is Ahmadinejad crazy about the Holocaust? What kind of World History do they teach over there?