Iran and Technical Odds and Sods
A few technical bits that have occurred in the last month or so, firstly Iran:
“Around a quarter of Iran’s 65 million people are believed to have Internet access. Iran has long used filtering to restrict certain news and political or pornographic Web sites. However, since the election, the number of blocked sites has increased.
Besides Twitter and YouTube, the BBC’s Farsi-language news site is still blocked, and Web sites associated with opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi — who says he won the election — are constantly shut down. In the last week, two new Mousavi sites have been created after others were targeted.”
Breaking the silence of suffering children.
Finally, tethering seems to be popular amongst smart phone owners. Basically, the mobile device is used as an external modem for a netbook/laptop, probably connected via a USB cable and the smart phone then provides the onward link to the Internet either via 3G or Wifi.
Update 1: Thanks to ganselmi for reminding me about Nokia’s role:
The Guardian explains:
“The mobile phone company Nokia is being hit by a growing economic boycott in Iran as consumers sympathetic to the post-election protest movement begin targeting a string of companies deemed to be collaborating with the regime.
Wholesale vendors in the capital report that demand for Nokia handsets has fallen by as much as half in the wake of calls to boycott Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for selling communications monitoring systems to Iran.”
“According to the Journal, a system installed in Iran by Nokia Siemens Networks — a Finland-based joint venture between Nokia and Siemens — provides Iranian authorities with the ability to conduct deep-packet inspection of online communications to monitor the contents and track the source of e-mail, VoIP calls, and posts to social networking sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. The newspaper also said authorities had the ability to alter content as it intercepted the traffic from a state-owned internet choke point.”
Update 2: The Iranian State’s measures to control access to the Internet largely failed, thanks to the ingenuity of Iranians, but the fight over the web still goes on, and Iranians have a new ally: Haystack
“Haystack is a new program to provide unfiltered internet access to the people of Iran. A software package for Windows, Mac and Unix systems, called Haystack, specifically targets the Iranian government’s web filtering mechanisms.
Similar to Freegate, the program directed against China’s “great firewall,” once installed Haystack will provide completely uncensored access to the internet in Iran while simultaneously protecting the user’s identity. No more Facebook blocks, no more government warning pages when you try to load Twitter, just unfiltered Internet.”
Their blog is here with updates.