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Censorship Government News

Five Technologies Iran Is Using To Censor the Net 122

Posted by kdawson
from the many-mice-and-one-big-cat dept.
alphadogg sends in a Network World piece on the unexpectedly effective technologies Iran is now employing to thwart their citizens' access to the Net. "While the government's initial efforts to censor the Internet were blunt and often ineffective, it has started employing more sophisticated tools to thwart dissidents' attempts to communicate with each other and the outside world. Iranian dissidents are not alone in their struggle, however, as several sympathetic hacker groups have been working to keep them online. One such group is NedaNet, whose mission is to 'help the Iranian people by setting up networks of proxy severs, anonymizers, and any other appropriate technologies that can enable them to communicate and organize.' NedaNet project coordinator Morgan Sennhauser, who has just written a paper detailing the Iranian government's latest efforts to thwart hackers (PDF), says that the government's actions have been surprisingly robust and have challenged hackers in ways that the Chinese government's efforts at censorship have not."
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Five Technologies Iran Is Using To Censor the Net

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  • by JoaoPinheiro (749991) on Monday July 20, 2009 @07:05PM (#28763395) Homepage
    I believe it was reported that Nokia and Siemens had sold/developed some of the filtering equipment being used by the Iranian government. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/nokia-siemens-boycott/ [wired.com]
  • Mirror of pdf (Score:5, Informative)

    by pirodude (54707) on Monday July 20, 2009 @07:06PM (#28763409) Homepage
  • by Smitty025 (948638) on Monday July 20, 2009 @07:09PM (#28763433)
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday July 20, 2009 @07:32PM (#28763649)

    And who is providing the Iranian government with the technical know-how to implement these censoring measures? Is it private consultants? Is it foreign governments?

    This is a good question. I've asked a few people and no one is fessing up to suppling Iran publicly. I've worked in that particular industry so I have some good contacts who should know. We know they use software from CA based Secure Computing, but the company denies having sold them a license so it seems they're just pirating the software. The Nokia Siemens partnership is selling them some gear but denies selling them monitoring software for anything other than cell phone networks.

    Is there sufficient know-how within Iran's pro-government citizenship to effect the censorship?

    There is a surprising amount of network traffic shaping and monitoring software related to the middle east. Half the startup companies in the business a few years ago had founders educated in Israel. It is possible, therefor that the locals do have such knowledge, but on the other hand the Israelis and Iranians don't really get along (understatement of the year nomination please).

    And my (and my employer's) dollars can speak a lot louder than this comment.

    I'm all in favor of accountability. I'd like to think the press would be competent enough to figure do some serious investigation of this and that the US government would make sure any companies involved were exposed as such to the public as well as subjected to punishments for doing business there (at least being unavailable for US contracts for a few years). I'm afraid I've become more of a cynic iver the last decade and I have little faith in either the press or the US government to push for the truth and hold people accountable. But seeing as most of the public has the attention span of a fruit fly and doesn't care enough to vote based upon such things anyway, I suppose we get what we deserve.

  • One (Score:3, Informative)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Monday July 20, 2009 @09:26PM (#28764641)

    Haystack [haystacknetwork.com] (full disclosure: I wrote it.)

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @09:42PM (#28764759)

    Hey! Bored, and waiting for a phone call, so I figured, what else to do but reply to the comments on slashdot!

    1) Right now we recommend Tor, we're testing out some other solutions that will be more easily integrated into how people are already using their computers. Dumb down the client requirements as much as possible. However, it's hard, since any solution is temporary- it's just a matter of how temporary. That said, we do have a few tools used for specific purposes inside Iran, however they're quite temporary, and saying what they are might reduce their halflife.
    2) We don't have a valid certificate. I think... Thursday? is the day we're supposed to have that. Something like that. Generally working on improving the nedanet site, also. Though, right now our focus isn't on having our website be fancy and safe, since there's nothing there. We'd much rather work on making the things we do to help Iranians easy and safe.

    --emsenn, project coordinator, NedaNet (http://emsenn.com)

  • Re:One (Score:2, Informative)

    by quinwound (520170) on Monday July 20, 2009 @10:01PM (#28764903)

    Haystack is NOT from NedaNet.
    NedaNet does not endorse Haystack.

  • Re:No business (Score:2, Informative)

    by jawahar (541989) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @12:29AM (#28765905) Homepage Journal
    Democratic [wikileaks.org] regimes also see their own countries' intellectual elite as an enemy.
  • Eric S. Raymond! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @06:33AM (#28767655)

    It's a good job we have someone sensible and balanced with an eye for the nuances of politics on the job, rather than a weirdo who has believed he's on a Jihadi hit-list since 2006 [ibiblio.org], and who is packing a gun 24-hours-a-day loaded with bullets soaked in pork fat [nedanet.org] (maybe he thinks it makes them more effective in some werewolf-silver way, or maybe he's just really good at offending the people he says he's trying to help...)

You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip over? Well, that's how I feel all the time. -- Steven Wright

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