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Iran Slows Internet Access Before Student Protests 289

RiffRafff writes "Iran is at it again, pre-emptively slowing or cutting Internet access before anticipated student protests." From the article: "Seeking to deny the protesters a chance to reassert their voice, authorities slowed Internet connections to a crawl in the capital, Tehran. For some periods on Sunday, Web access was completely shut down — a tactic that was also used before last month's demonstration. The government has not publicly acknowledged it is behind the outages, but Iran's Internet service providers say the problem is not on their end and is not a technical glitch."
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Iran Slows Internet Access Before Student Protests

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  • Proxification? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skuzzlebutt ( 177224 ) <> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @07:58PM (#30347292) Homepage

    Anyone hosting tor ports to assist? I considered, but I'm nervous about having some /b/onehead abuse my address.

  • Slow? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jspenguin1 ( 883588 ) <> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @07:59PM (#30347298) Homepage
    How much will this really affect communication? If I recall, the last wave of protests mostly used Twitter, which doesn't exactly use a whole heap of bandwith? I could see this affecting Youtube, but it won't stop communication.
  • by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:01PM (#30347324) Homepage
    How long do the authorities in Iran think they can keep this Internet slowdown going? Sooner or later, they'll have to let up, and when they do, there's going to be a flood of blog posts and website updates about the latest protests. Unless they cut off all Internet access forever, they can't stop it from happening, they can only delay it, and the longer they do, the worse it looks.
  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:04PM (#30347342) Homepage

    How long before the Iranian government lays all new fiber to a central military facility and then disable the now-current fiber links? The idea being total central control to turn off the internet connection entirely or by segments from one physical location.

    Hey, if they have the money to build another 20 nuclear reprocessing sites, they damn well have the funds to pull something off like this!

  • by 7213 ( 122294 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:12PM (#30347398) Homepage


    Last death throws of a failing regime. I feel horrible for the Iranian people right now, but thank god they don't seem to be taking this lying down.

    It's like the 1960's over there, a huge boom of 'youth' and a repressive establishment to fight. Here's hoping the result of this revolution is a bit more friendly then the last, but more importantly that it treats it's people better.

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:43PM (#30347672)

    The same thing happens when China "cracks down." The media whines and opines for a while, but at the end of the day the rest of the world is powerless to stop these boneheads from abusing their own people. I feel for those affected, but at some point the people inside the Matrix need to do more to help themselves. Having the people outside complain really doesn't do a whole lot to make it better.

    So if I'm a thug government, I know I can pretty much do what I want, especially if I have something the world wants (cheap labor/oil/etc).

  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:53PM (#30347774)
    If Iranian ISPs are anything like the ones here in the U.S., then that means they don't have access to usenet, unless they pay a subscription for it.
  • Re:Proxification? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ( 1195047 ) <philip.paradis@p ... net minus author> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:56PM (#30347810) Homepage Journal
    I should add some more supporting details. Organizations can, in fact, be held legally liable for abuse of Tor nodes operating on their networks. There's a bit of a catch to this, though. If you're operating in relay mode, there's virtually no way to determine the contents of the traffic. If you're operating as an exit node, that's not the case. People are responsible for the bits exiting their network interface to the public at large.

    I routinely handle DMCA complaints related to Tor node abuse. My standard line is basically "we don't actively monitor your connection for abuse, but if we're notified of it we have to act on it." The EFF loves to run the "DMCA safe harbor" argument up the flagpole, but service providers lose that protection if they routinely allow abuse on their networks. Of course, the EFF isn't going to make that a talking point.
  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:26PM (#30348056) Homepage Journal

    Your sentimentalism sickens me.

    Yeah, emotions. Why can't we all be robots?!!!!!!!!

    How can your anti-globalization sentiment outweigh the fact that Iran is a highly oppressive, human rights abusing theocracy?

    Read the post again. I want what the people want. They don't want a 14-th century theocracy and they don't want a bunch of greedy American meddlers entrenching themselves into the political infrastructure, exploiting the people, and cheapening a proud culture.

    As the song goes, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss". The Iranians are trying to prevent that vicious cycle, unlike the apathetic Americans who encourage it.

  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:54PM (#30348274)

    Actually, the ones that aren't fine with the status quo no longer live in Iran. My co-worker left as soon as he could; so did a previous co-worker. They have families, and they don't want to have them grabbed or imprisoned just for saying, "this is bullshit!". (A right that we have in the West, but one that sadly, is not conferred to the rest of the world.)

    They're both Engineers -- Iran's loss, our gain. At the rate they're going, they won't have anyone left in the country smart enough to change a light bulb in a few years. Then they can sit in the dark with no Internet and complain how Britain and the US are evil.

  • I won't argue that the media here in the U.S. isn't heavily influenced by the government. That said, I'm still free to publish views that directly conflict with those in government without fear of being locked up. That is not the case in Iran. Now, I frankly don't think it's any of our business that their citizens have to live like that; if they decide they want change, they'll do what it takes to effect it. Until then, they get what they deserve.
  • Re:Proxification? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @10:18PM (#30348450)

    Free to go to jail for unwillingly/unknowingly receiving a picture of a child.
    Free to go to jail for someone else pirating something and clumsy morons tracing it back to us.
    Free to go to jail for exercising the right of free use.
    Free to be exploited first by corporate monopolies, then the government, then both at the same time.

    That said, we're also:

    Free to deny the holocaust or make "hateful" racist statements
    Free to insult Turkishness
    Free to insult the Thai monarch
    Free to call for the overthrow of the government by non-violent means
    Free to campaign for a change to the laws (and be ignored, but still)
    Free to play video games with blood and gore
    Free from that many spy cameras placed at every angle everywhere
    Free to use cryptography and refuse to disclose the passphrase under the 5th amendment.
    Until quite recently, free to peaceably assemble. Now we have to use Intel's assembler.

    I'm not saying things are exactly peachy here in the US, but I don't see a lot of countries that are freer. Scandinavia comes to mind. What's most troubling in the US is not that we're not free, we're pretty good, it's how incredibly quickly we're losing rights.

  • Re:Proxification? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Akira Kogami ( 1566305 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:04PM (#30348718)
    America has a codified freedom of speech, which is more than you can say for some Western European countries. You'll never see a game banned from sale or distribution in the United States, for example.
  • Re:Proxification? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:49PM (#30348982)

    Flamebait because it's flamebait. The US is not perfect, far from it. We've done more meddling than we should have at times (case in point, the lunatics in Iran are our fault), but it seems like the US is the scapegoat/boogieman of choice when some crackpot dictator needs to justify their own regime or blame their problems on, however crazy the case may be (oh noes, we're ruled by an iron fisted dictator, our economy and human development index lag despite the fact that we're sitting on a huge pile of the most valuable substance on the planet, and we'll be killed if we become an atheist or a homosexual, and it's all because of the Americans. Give me a break.). Apparently, some people actually believe that propaganda (no one that I've met from the Middle East did, but you're not from there, are you?). You act as if the US stole freedom from someone. No. We're not perfect, we've got a hell of a lot to criticize, but give it a rest with the anti-American crap.

  • by wmac ( 1107843 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @03:44AM (#30350188) Homepage
    Comment: A large percentage of the people support the government

    Answer: Yes, 15%-18%. In every single poll on the internet I have seen almost the same number. And no, they (people) won't kill each other for it. People in Iran do not have gun and it is illegal to have it. Besides Iranian society is considered an educated community (3.5 million are in universities from which 60% are women).

    Comment: The Iranians created this horrible society. It is none of our business unless they attempt to develop nuclear weapons.

    Answer: No they didn't. US did a coup in Iran 40-50 years ago and overthrow their national democratic government and returned the dictator "Shah" to power. people were forced to act more aggressive to put the Shah away. An aggressive act of revolution caused more aggressive opinions.

    Then a war was exposed to Iran by Iraq (Sadam) which killed almost 1million Iranians. The war was supported by most Arab countries + Europeans + USA. Arabs paid Iraq by oil and cash (around 200 billion) and Europeans and US gave them weapons etc (including chemicals for illegal chemical warfare). 50,000 Iranians are effected by chemicals provided by Europeans to Sadam.

    The same Sadam used those weapons against same Arab countries a few years later.

    About your comment on Nukes I should say, USA is the only country which has both built and used nukes. US has started around 50 wars in recent history. Iran has never started any war in last150 years or more.

    You want to condemn the 7000 years old culture of Iran which has the oldest history of Human rights and has been one of the cultural roots of the human being and then support your own culture and people which have started almost 50 wars (in which more than 10 million are killed) ??? have you looked at the mirror recently???
  • Re:Proxification? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @09:45AM (#30352058)

    Even politically you impose self-censorship, at the least. What were doing your news outlets when the ones in the rest of world were casting serious doubts at, say, "Iraq has WMDs"?

    Bad example since a) Iraq had recently had WMDs in the past and had disposed of their WMD and related technology without telling anyone at some point after 2001 (kind of ironic since they were claiming at the time that they didn't have WMD), b) nobody in the media knew enough to second guess the US government and its pretty pictures and fancy claims, and c) anyone who did have a real idea, didn't bother to correct the US's claims. The genuine serious doubts came afterwards when the US couldn't come up with anything. US media reported the absence of evidence just like everyone else.

    A better example is the US media's eagerness to regurgitate press releases and other prepared bits of propaganda without critical analysis.

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