In the midst of a troubled [since the presidential election, ed.] Iran, the police have begun to physically remove and destroy satellite receivers within residential homes. This is done in a massive effort to prevent people from obtaining news with foreign TV-stations, which are outside the Iranian regime’s control.
That is the report of a German human rights organization, saying that Iranian citizens now only have the Internet as an impartial source of information – and that this media is also subject to very strict censorship.
Every internet provider in Iran has been linked to the rest of the world through a central hub inside the National Iranian telecommunications company, TCI. There, an ingenious system has been installed to keep track of all user’s movements through cyberspace, recording the electronic communication and allowing to block any unwanted content.
Thus a few words in an e-mail can quickly lead to the police knocking on the door. At current it is believed that at least 41 journalists, four bloggers and a French student are imprisoned in Iran due to having sent pictures and news about the desperate political situation in the country.
In neighboring Iraq, the government has also commented on its own plans to introduce Internet censorship. Iraq apparently seeks to block access to pornographic and other objectionable content, gambling and pages with extreme political views. All public internet cafes in Iraq will also be forced to register themselves through the upcoming centralized hub.
All in all, Internet access is being censored in more and more countries around the globe, in both the Northern and Southern hemisphere – we know that Internet access is censored in Great Britain, Germany, China, Australia and so on – and the trend will unfortunately, continue. So if you live in a country that doesn’t have Internet censors, count your blessings.