Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Censorship Government The Military News Politics

The State of Iran's Ongoing Netwar 263

An anonymous reader writes "Following disputed elections in Iran, opposition groups and activists have turned conventional protests into a major threat to the ruling government. The low-intensity protest movement is rapidly becoming the first true netwar of the 21st century. Opposition protesters have shown that within a few hours or less, the information technologies that are the mainstay of modern society can become its weapons, as well. This article examines the current situation in Iran and the part played by new media technologies and strategies, showing how far the theory and practice of netwar has advanced since the concept first emerged in the late nineties."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The State of Iran's Ongoing Netwar

Comments Filter:
  • Fark (Score:4, Informative)

    by RetroGeek ( 206522 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:39PM (#28365939) Homepage

    Hardly any time to post. Spending most of my time on Fark

  • 2nd net war (Score:5, Informative)

    by jimbolauski ( 882977 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:44PM (#28365977) Journal
    I the 1st net war of the 21st century was between Russia and Georgia. If you recall Russia executed ddos attacks on Georgia to stop communications during their invasion.
  • Re:Freedom for Iran! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:48PM (#28366031)

    Can you please post what we can do in order to help the Iranians throw over their dictatorship?

    If you have the bandwidth (with a verizon fios account for example), run a proxy server that gives unlimited access to IP addresses from within Iran.
    Here's How. [austinheap.com]

  • Re:Fark (Score:5, Informative)

    by RetroGeek ( 206522 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:49PM (#28366045) Homepage


    Threads on Fark have reached over 20K posts. People are setting up proxy servers to allow outgoing Twitter messages (bypassing Iranian firewall filters), with several people giving out do-it-yourself proxy kits. There is an active Go Green campaign and protests planned in many cities. Posting of relevant Twitter messages to keep everyone informed.

    Somewhat on the forefront of the Netwar I would think.

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:53PM (#28366091)

    Not long after the first requests for proxies went out, went out the requests for "So how do I configure this again?".

    So I created ProxyBox [exstatic.org] [mirror] [] to help people get stuff setup quickly. It has squid (listening on a multitude of ports), tor, & ziproxy. It was quick and dirty (and the file size shows). Not to mention I'm just a Mechanical Engineer, not a security expert. This was meant for the fark crowd and not for the slashdot, I'm sure everyone here is more than capable of setting up some proxies.

    Austin Heap [nyud.net] has been distributing the Proxies to Iranians on the inside via twitter and such. (Twitter [twitter.com]) his biggest problem right now is ssh servers inside of Iran to make sure that proxies work. Supposedly he's also been able to set up VPNs on fast connections. But work is slow because the internet is slow and he's down to 1-2 SSH boxes ATM.

    They've already started blocking ports 80,81, 3128 & 8080. And starting to send fake RESETs on TCP connections (Comcast anyone?).

    How you can help:
    Well I'd like some help making ProxyBox a ton smaller. If DSL can get a full GUI in 50MB, there's no reason ProxyBox should be 400MB. I'd also like to turn it into a LiveCD or LiveUSB so it can be set up by anyone not just with VirtualBox. (jjarvis98 at gmail.com)

    Tor is being used quite extensively. Some people have setup exit nodes and had their connections filled with people hitting nothing more than twitter, facebook & youtube. Set up an exit node or bridge if nothing else.

    Supposedly UDP and ping still work fine. So some people are looking into TCP over UDP [jankratochvil.net] or I was also thinking about Ping Tunnel (Tcp over Ping) [cs.uit.no]

    #irantech on irc.freenode.net is a bit unorganized but it's working for now.

  • Re:Freedom for Iran! (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:00PM (#28366189)

    http://blog.austinheap.com.nyud.net:8080/ [nyud.net]

    He's been getting DDoS'd from IRAN and other sources long before people posted his web page on slashdot.

    This site also has a bit cleaner information. http://iran.sharearchy.com.nyud.net:8080 [nyud.net]

    I imagine the worst problem right now (and I've seen it first hand), is people that think they're helping but don't forward the ports, so they e-mail people the IP and it takes time to verify that what they setup is/was useless.

  • Re:Freedom for Iraq! (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:18PM (#28366423) Journal

    Iran is a considerably different place than Iraq was under Hussein. Under Hussein, Iraq was effectively a one-man dictatorship. Iran's governing structures are considerably more complex. Khamenei is the effective ruler of Iran, but there's considerable interplay with other high-level bodies, in particular the Guardian Council and the Assembly of Experts. There's a lot more jostling and scheming for influence than we are often aware. While, on the face of it, this may look like the beginnings of a revolution, I'm wagering it's more likely a coupe by former president Rafsanjani [wikipedia.org], who has close ties with Mousavi, and who is likely looking to unseat Khamenei and install himself as the Supreme Leader.

    This is the saddest part of all of this. There are plenty of reasons for the Iranian people, or at least the middle and upper classes, to loathe Ahmadinejad, but if these proto-revolutionaries think they're fighting to take back Iran from the Ayatollahs, they're sadly mistaken. Mousavi is very much a loyal servant of the current regime, with many connections with the Guardian Council, certainly more than Ahmadinejad.

  • Re:Freedom for Iran! (Score:5, Informative)

    by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:26PM (#28366541)

    Offer to arm the Iranian insurgency. The bad guys are already armed.

    While some aspects of the US have appeal to some elements of the Iranian opposition, the US government is not exactly the most trusted institution among Iranians, and there is a serious risk that any visible connection between the US government and the Iranian opposition would do much to discredit that opposition among Iranians.

    The situation would be somewhat different if, with the backing of its mass membership, the Iranian opposition were seeking the involvement of the US.

  • Re:Freedom for Iraq! (Score:5, Informative)

    by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:35PM (#28366647) Journal

    You must have missed the part where several Grand Ayatollahs have come out against the election results, and only 1 is backing it. And where part of the demands of the dissidents is that Khamenei - who first blessed, then condemned, then blessed again the results - be removed. In fact, there is substantial talk about the fact that Khamenei clearly does not have Allah's voice if he is changing his position; once he blessed it, he really should have stuck with that. The double reversal greatly harms his reputation, both inside and outside of Iran.

    I even tossed together a wiki page about the stances of the various Marjas. [wikipedia.org] And L-rd have mercy, I'd love to have help editing it. There's a lot of things to try to filter, and most of those official pages are in languages I unfortunately cannot read.

    This isn't a simple "nothing will change" situation anymore. Even Mousavi is likely to be temporary now, considering he was only allowed to run because Khamenei approved him.

  • Low-intensity? (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrylis ( 262281 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:37PM (#28366667)

    These protests are only low-intensity if you count that the protesters aren't starting violence. There have been literally millions of protesters in each of several cities--and these are the ones who are coming out despite the very real threat of attack from paramilitary forces.

  • Re:Listen... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DnemoniX ( 31461 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:45PM (#28366763)

    I'm thinking that you in fact have a very low understanding of Iranian politics. Otherwise you would know that the Iranian President only wields so much of the power. The real seat of power rests with the Supreme Leader, for now this is Ayatollah Khamenei. Mousavi isn't a moderate as far as such terms may apply but he is way closer to the center than Ahmadinejad. The likely successor of Ayatollah Khamenei, if the revolution succeeds, would be Ayatollah Montazeri. Who is pro-Democracy, pro-Human Rights and one of the biggest proponents of women and civil rights for ALL Iranians, including much-maligned minorities like the Baha'is. In fact he goes further than the protections afforded to them under Sharia. He would be the one calling the shots.

  • Re:Fark (Score:3, Informative)

    by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:51PM (#28366827)

    Here, here. Fark has stepped up to provide explanations and filter through the noise, and 4chan has stepped up to provide technical support and services to keep communication open. I'm actually a little surprised that Slashdot is as quiet as it is, considering the technical knowledge that it's known for and the many cries over censorship. This is censorship at its greatest, and no one here seems to want to lend a hand to the people who need some help getting around it.

  • by JobyOne ( 1578377 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:52PM (#28366837) Homepage Journal
    Is denial of service on Iranian government sites such a hot idea?

    They might hassle the government a little bit, but they also might gum up the tubes being used by regular folks to do things like post body counts and whatnot to Twitter (of all the ridiculous places).

    Something to consider.
  • Re:Fark (Score:3, Informative)

    by Alphager ( 957739 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:58PM (#28366929) Homepage Journal

    Hardly any time to post. Spending most of my time on Fark

    Yup, Fark is the place to be.
    Best coverage currently.
    You should have liniked to Tatsumas writeup of the events: https://sites.google.com/site/tatsumairanupdate/ [google.com]

  • Re:Freedom for Iran! (Score:2, Informative)

    by winomonkey ( 983062 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @06:08PM (#28367057)
    Grand plan! It isn't like we have meddled with regime change in Iran in the past (1953, 1980, in some views 2001-present) ... or changes in Iraqi regimes (1963, 1968, 1992-1995, 2003) ... or even toyed with political forces in Afghanistan, for that matter (1973-1974, 1978-1980s, continuing today). Oh, almost forgot about those little places in Southeast Asia, Central America, South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Citation [wikipedia.org] You are right, this is a novel and new concept that we should definitely pursue! USA-backed regime change FTW! #WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong
  • Re:Freedom for Iraq! (Score:3, Informative)

    by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @06:22PM (#28367199) Journal

    no, because I've been keeping up with the information coming out of there for the last week.

    The demands of the protestors (who number in the millions):

    1. Dismissal of Khamenei for not being a fair leader
    2. Dismissal of Ahmadinejad for his illegal acts
    3. Temporary appointment of Ayatollah Montazeri as the Supreme Leader
    4. Recognition of Mousavi as the President
    5. Forming the Cabinet by Mousavi to prepare for revising the Constitution
    6. unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners
    7. Dissolution of all organs of repression, public or secret.

  • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @06:31PM (#28367279)

    Email me@austinheap.com, he's compiling an unpublished list of proxies that Iranians can ask for when they contact him. He's in one of the best positions to make sure the proxies get to the people who need them.

  • Slax is a small live-cd Linux based on Slackware. It's newest version is 100MB big, but I have an old 50MB iso that I can make available. If you have installed those tools by scratch, you'll need at most to recompile them at Slax, if you installed them by apt-get there may be some problems hidden at the instalation... If you need some help installing them, I can help you.

    You can get my email from my profile. I'll see if I can get a smaller live distro.

  • by blhack ( 921171 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @08:02PM (#28367995)

    that email address is getting flooded. join #irantech on freenode and ask for the current one.

    Austin is on there right now.

  • by KingAlanI ( 1270538 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @08:13PM (#28368073) Homepage Journal

    No mod points for me today, so:

    Yeah, you're right, I fear the US, or at least the US powers-that-be, would be hypocritical if that kind of shitstorm was happening here. However, I'd say that that kind if political hypocrisy is an "everyone does it" game (don't make it right)
    However, the concept in your example seems to fall in the "likely couldn't understand it completely 'on paper' category

    Any particular reason for selecting San Francisco as the US city in your example? If Libertarian politics have anything to do with your example, Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City and/or Dallas would also be appropriate. :P

    You do have important words of caution on the Iranian developments, I'd say

  • by pathological liar ( 659969 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @08:34PM (#28368245)

    Every single set of instructions on that sharearchy link tells you to create a completely open proxy.

    For the love of Christ, don't do that, the last thing we need is a ton of fresh new high bandwidth open proxy servers on the internet.

    Please use Squid ACLs to only allow traffic from Iran. You can find a list of ACLs on Austin's blog [nyud.net]. Reposted here since the coral cache wasn't working when I just tried:


    If you would like to limit your proxy to Iranian IP blocks, you want to change "http_access deny all" to read "http_access allow TRUSTED" add a line (BEFORE the http_access line to setup an access control list [ACL]). This ACL line that defines TRUSTED should read:

    acl TRUSTED src

  • by kyliaar ( 192847 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @09:58PM (#28368695)

    Quoted from The Declaration of Independance:

    "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    I am not sure what viewpoint you are responding to.

    I definitely wasn't talking about facism overthrowing a government.

    I also don't think facism was the result of the events inspired by this declaration.

  • by funkboy ( 71672 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @10:53PM (#28369079) Homepage

    Set up this preconfigured proxy VM [punk.funk.nu] and let Austin Heap [austinheap.com] know about it. Read his best practices guide [austinheap.com] to make it as effective as possible. The Iranian government has very nice Nokia Siemens inspection filters on all the terrestrial traffic leaving the country and is jamming many sat freqs. Randomized ports to random proxy hosts and SSH tunnels are about the only way to get through; they've of course blocked all the usual proxy ports.

  • Re:Listen... (Score:3, Informative)

    by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:21AM (#28369571)

    No one is interfering in their politics, people are just trying to help the lines of communication stay open.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."