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Bloggers in Iran Under Threat March 29, 2006

Posted by lsalama06 in Hot issues.

Iran’s estimated 70,000 and 100,000 active blogging community, also known as Weblogistan, is under threat of censorship by the Iranian government. The Iranian government is the world’s second country — after China — to own the most sophisticated filtering system for Internet content. Interestingly the filtering software is of U.S. origin, based on a 2004 study by the OpenNet Initiative.

Some Quotes from the article:

“I am very careful. Every blogger in Iran who writes in his/her name must be careful. I know the red lines and I never go beyond them,” said Parastoo Dokouhaki, 25, who runs one of Iran’s most popular blogs. “And these days, the red lines are getting tighter.”

“I write about the social consequences of government decisions and they don’t like it, because they can’t control it,” said Dokouhaki.

“It’s normal for authorities to summon and threaten bloggers,” said Mazroui. The government continued to harass him and three months ago, he was summoned once again by the authorities and told never to write about the nuclear issue. Soon after his release, he shut down his weblog.

Despite the crackdown, most Iranian bloggers say the government is not interested in eliminating blogging. Instead, they believe authorities want to use blogging to further their own goals.

Farid Pouya, a Belgian-based Iranian blogger, notes the government has just launched a competition for the best four blogs. The subjects: the Islamic revolution and the Quran.

“The government has observed carefully and learned that blogs are important … and they want to capitalize on that,” she said. “They want to lead the movement, they want to control it.”

To Read full article



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