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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Under The Radar

Declan McCullagh writes:

Daniel Calingaert, deputy director of programs at Freedom House, a human rights group, says Iranian authorities have been focused on jamming phones and satellite connections and have not paid as much attention to the Internet.

"They're still focused on cat and mouse games with satellite broadcasting," Calingaert says. "They had jammed BBC Persia, which is probably the most respected and known source of news. And then we've heard that BBC moved to different frequencies. A lot of people are able to get it. It varies based on time of day and neighborhood. . . ."

Even if Iranians can't always secure a reliable Internet connection to the outside world, they nevertheless have a potent voice: the Iranian and Persian diaspora, amounting to millions of former residents living abroad. It just takes one e-mail message with a video or photo attached for the contents to rocket around the diaspora and eventually end up on a place like In a pinch, a simple phone call to a family member abroad can be transcribed for a Twitter feed.

Freedom House's Calingaert says: "What makes this situation different from others and is driving a lot of it is that you have a very large and vibrant online and blogger community of Iranians outside the country."

"People are really bypassing channels though Facebook and Twitter and contacting their cousins," Amnesty's Janmohamd adds. "You've got one of the largest Iranian diasporas in Los Angeles. Information is getting out there."

link: Iranians find ways to bypass Net censors | Politics and Law - CNET News


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