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Today marks 2 years since my release from 's Evin prison. January 17 will always mean new beginnings to me and…
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7 hours ago by kohlmannj
How the U.S. Is Making the War in Yemen Worse | The New Yorker
The conflict has killed at least ten thousand civilians, and the country faces famine. Why are we still involved?
Yemen  conflict  internationalrelations  BarrackObama  DonaldTrump  Houthi  Iran  SaudiArabia  USA  NewYorker  2018 
9 hours ago by inspiral
Amid Protests, Iran’s Government Censors Its Critics With Chinese-Style Internet Control
With millions coming online in recent years, Iran's domestic intranet (the National Information Network, or NIN) has been built to bolster the state's ability to surveil citizens - not serving citizens' needs, writes Murtaza Hussain for The Intercept, following a recent report (https://www.iranhumanrights.org/wp-content/uploads/EN-Guards-at-the-gate-High-quality.pdf?x96855) by the Center for Human Rights in Iran. "As in much of the developing world, internet use in Iran has grown exponentially over the past decade. According to figures from the United Nations, at least 53 percent of Iran’s population of 80 million people used the internet as of last year, including 40 million mobile phone users. This increasing public access to the web is partly the fruit of government investments in telecommunications infrastructure. But Iranians’ growing ability to share information and organize online also pose obvious threats to the authoritarian ruling government...

Thanks to its growing technical capacity, the government can even block the global internet entirely while letting the NIN continue to operate, a power it briefly demonstrated during the recent protests...Heavy-handed suspensions of internet access may be effective in the short-term, but they put President Hassan Rouhani’s government in an awkward position. Since coming to power, Rouhani has positioned himself at times as a vocal advocate for online freedom. 'We cannot close the gates of the world to our younger generation,' the president said in a televised address in 2014. But Rouhani’s embrace of a more open internet has conflicted with hard-liners in the regime, who continue to push for stricter controls. Despite his hopeful rhetoric, information filtering, hacking, and online surveillance against Iranians have all continued under his administration, while key telecommunications infrastructure remains under the control of state security organizations."
otf  iran  iranprotest  censorship  NIN  mena 
yesterday by dmcdev
Microsoft and Amazon Enable Censorship Circumvention Tools in Iran. Why Doesn’t Google?
By blocking Google App Engine, Google is "indirectly allowing the Iranian government to block apps that piggyback on it to skirt online censorship," Motherboard reports. "After years of growing restrictions online, Iranians know a thing or two about getting around their government’s censorship system, colloquially known as the 'Filternet,' and they often turn to circumvention services like Virtual Private Networks, or Tor. Censorship circumvention isn’t done just with ad hoc apps though. And sophisticated government censors have become quite good at blocking specific apps. So, sometimes, an app that would be blocked by censors can mask itself within the traffic of a popular—and approved—service.

That’s a technique known as 'domain fronting,' which relies on piggybacking off of popular services like GitHub or Amazon’s AWS to make it harder for countries like Iran or China to block specific apps. The technique essentially makes the traffic of a certain app look like traffic from a major website or service that is less likely to be blocked because it’s too popular—blocking cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft’s Azure, which are used for a multitude of different services, would be perceived worse than blocking a small service that’s used primarily to circumvent surveillance. The concept behind domain fronting has been called 'collateral freedom.'

Besides AWS and GitHub, Iranian users could piggyback off of Google as well, but the Google App Engine (GAE), the service that would be used for domain fronting in this case, blocks traffic that comes from Iran. In this case, Google, not Iran is doing the blocking. The effect is that Iranians are unable to use some services that would be particularly useful during protests." - Lorenzo Franceschi-BicchieraiandJason Koebler, Motherboard
otf  iran  mena  collateralfreedom  circumvention  censorship 
yesterday by dmcdev
Begging To Be Blackmailed | City Journal
In the face of a series of crucial decisions for President Trump concerning certification of the Iran nuclear deal and continuing waivers from sanctions, the European Union is lobbying hard in the mullahs’ defense.
iran  terrorism  nuclear  war 
2 days ago by Jswindle
Israeli military chief outlines Hizbullah’s Syria commitment | Jane's 360
Iran’s objective in Syria is not just to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power, but build a presence in the country that threatens Israel, according to Lt Gen Eisenkot. “The Iranians wish to consolidate their presence in Syria on land, in the air, and at sea. They are building intelligence facilities. The threat to us is significant,” he said. “Our effort is directed at preventing this consolidation.”
Iran  Mar15  Hizbollah  ForeignFighters  IranianProxy  IDF  intelligence_assessment 
4 days ago by elizrael
Five Nonviolent Resistance Movements to Watch in 2018 – Political Violence at a Glance
Nevertheless, a growing body of literature (while remaining humble about our predictive capacity as scholars) is gradually generating a growing list of statistically significant predictors of the onset of major nonviolent resistance campaigns.  A large manufacturing sector is one consistent predictor.  High levels of globalization are another.  And demonstration effects from nearby regions as well as recent history of protest may also play an important role.
protests  poli-sci  Kenya  Venezuela  Honduras  Iran  USA 
4 days ago by elizrael
Tech Companies Are Complicit in Censoring Iran Protests
American technology companies taking an "overly cautious" approach to sanctions interpretation are complicit in restricting internet access to Iranian users, write Firuzeh Mahmoudi (of United for Iran) and Fereidoon Bashar (of ASL19) in Wired, calling for Silicon Valley to up its commitment to democracy and freedom of expression. "But it’s not just the regime that is stripping Iranians of their digital freedom: American technology companies that limit Iranian users’ access to their services—the result, usually, of an overly cautious interpretation of US sanctions—are also, in effect, restricting internet access and hindering free expression.

The sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States are comprehensive, covering many individuals, institutions, and industries. Many affected companies rightly fear that if they provide services to the average user in Iran, the Iranian government and sanctioned industries could also gain access to these technologies, which could have far-reaching legal and financial implications for the companies involved...Despite years of advocacy by Iranian NGOs outside the country, as well as licenses from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control that exempt certain services and transactions from the sanction policies, tech companies continue to deny services to Iranians that could be crucial to free and open communications."
otf  iran  iranprotest  mena 
5 days ago by dmcdev
Iranian regime's 'halal' internet stifling protest
Iran's ability to control the flow of information over the internet has been the result of a decade of infrastructure investment, especially around the country's National Information Network (NIN), which separates domestic versus international internet traffic. Ongoing protests have demonstrated Iran's ability to flip the switch and shut down access for some, while keeping other sites and services up and running. "The NIN is designed to be just as malleable to the authorities as the country's print and broadcast media, and also offers Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) extensive surveillance abilities to monitor dissent," writes Alexander J Martin for Sky News.

"Originally designed as a national internet and described by officials as a 'halal' (lawful) system, the NIN has become a state-controlled network mediating all of its citizens' communications with the outside world...Upgrades to the country's telecommunications infrastructure and work to provide faster and cheaper internet services for its population have somewhat delivered Mr Rouhani's promises of access, but technological initiatives undertaken by the Iranian government - in particular development of the NIN - have significantly enhanced the state's ability to restrict, block and monitor internet use in Iran."
otf  iran  iranprotest  mena 
5 days ago by dmcdev
How to help #KeepItOn in Iran
A rundown on what's happening in Iran, how the internet has been affected, and what you can do about it. Access Now details how Iran is disrupting connections to cloud server provider DigitalOcean (used by circumvention tools like Lantern), censoring Telegram (along with other long-censored social media apps and sites), and blocking the Tor network (bridges can still be effective), while also listing out some circumvention tools to get around the blocks, including Psiphon, Lantern, various VPNs, Orbot, and the Tails operating system.
otf  iran  iranprotest  mena 
6 days ago by dmcdev
Spider tailed horned viper - YouTube
The tail of this snake looks and moves a LOT like a spider.
snakes  iran  reptile  mimicry  predator  spider  video  nature  evolution  biology 
7 days ago by cwr
Internet Cut-Off During Recent Unrest in Iran Reveals Tehran’s New Cyber Capabilities
A new report by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) analyzes Iran's growing abilities to censor and surveil the internet. The report "provides a comprehensive review of Iran’s internet policies and initiatives, in particular, the development and new capabilities of Iran’s state-controlled National Internet Network (NIN), which gives the government newly expanded abilities to control Iranians’ access to the internet and monitor online communications."

Among the report's findings: "The NIN enables the authorities to separate domestic internet traffic from international internet traffic, allowing the state to cut Iranians off from the global internet while maintaining access to state-approved domestic sites and services on the NIN...Without any judicial oversight, Iran’s NIN can be used by state security agencies to identify users and hack into private accounts...[and] The state steers Iranians towards the NIN and its services—such as national search engines, email and video services—by making it cheaper and faster to use than the global internet, violating net neutrality principles."

Read "Guards at the Gate: The Expanding State Control Over the Internet in Iran" here (https://www.iranhumanrights.org/wp-content/uploads/EN-Guards-at-the-gate-High-quality.pdf?x96855) (pdf).
otf  iran  mena  iranprotest 
7 days ago by dmcdev

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