London, 5 Mar – The clerical regime in Iran supresses its citizens in many ways, but some of the biggest crackdowns have been in the form of censorship.
Iran has censored many websites and blocked many social media apps.
At the beginning of the year Iran used Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) to direct traffic away from numerous sites by using false routes. One of the consequences of this was that users in Hong Kong were unable to access the websites.
Engadget states that the problem is that the networks of Iran are a main routing centre and it is easy for false or malicious data to spread.
Although censorship is essential to Iran to keep the population under control and to prevent public unrest, it is also essential to protect businesses in the country. Its censorship has been able to limit immediate security threats.
Iran has basically put into place a closed network so that users can access online sources that have been pre-approved by the government. This is done through domestic servers which can be accessed by security agents in Iran in several agencies such as the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the National Security Council, and the Intelligence Ministry.
The Telecommunications Company of Iran is owned by the IRGC and it can view all online web traffic.
An NIN contractor explained: “In most policy meetings, the security agencies are represented by anonymous individuals participating under false names who believe that the internet cannot be controlled and therefore, their only solution is to close it off from within the country.”
The Iranian regime can control what news is accessed in the country. It is heavily censored and because it is on domestic servers, agents can immediately shut it down so that citizens are unable to view the websites.
It works in a way so that authorities can cut internet access when necessary but can continue with daily activities that are on the same network. Banning some websites is economically interesting for Iran because it increases trade barriers for international companies while at the same time protecting domestic companies.
This is similar to China where access to websites of huge international companies have been blocked. One example of this is Amazon – and this has allowed Chinese companies to take this gap in the Chinese market, which has resulted in keeping the profits in the country.
Social media in Iran is another matter. It is a way for the authorities to keep social unrest under as much control as possible and preventing unrest. The mullahs regime is putting content on the web which is against the opposition.
However, blocking certain sites will not work at keeping unrest under control in Iran. The people are finding other ways around the regime’s suppressive moves and in any case the country is still on the brink of unrest.