Iran: new law to control the internet
Iran’s exploration of ways to better control the internet has come with a new law since the start of the new year. As the department of journalism and information of the ministry of islamic guidance and culture announced on sunday, all iranians who run a blog or a website should register their name and address on the government website samendehi within two months.
The law was passed several weeks ago – not by parliament, but by the cabinet of president ahmadinejad. The proposal for this came from the above-mentioned ministry – the "ministry of islamic guidance and culture". The new internet regulations set forth in the law are intended to ensure that "religious and cultural values are preserved and civil and legal responsibilities are created.".
According to saeed barzin, published by bbc monitoring, the new law empowers representatives of the ministries responsible for islamic governance, intelligence, communications and justice to ie warnings and temporary bans on websites.
16 offenses are listed, a comprehensive catalog 1 , which starts with atheism and insulting the islamic religion (and other holy religions!) and stops with lies and links to web sites that violate the regulations.
The law should be worded in a way that also covers websites and blogs that deal with iranian affairs and are run by iranians living abroad.
For the "godfather of the iranian blogosphere" in exile in canada, hossein derakhshan, who in his blog draws attention to the law, which has so far been virtually ignored by the reporting in the west, the initiative is unlawful, technically primitively implemented and therefore easy to circumvent.
Basically, it’s quite a primitive way of gathering information in a database and there is so much room for abusing the forms and filling out the forms with totally false information.
Now hoder encourages his readers to sabotage the new law with hacktivism-inspired actions, such as registering with seemingly genuine information from well-known websites and blogs, force-feeding the database with spam, and thus confusing the authorities.
Ein anderer iranischer exilblogger, kamangir, nimmt das gesetz nicht allzu ernst: nicht einmal das blog von prasident ahmadinedschad wurde den formalen anspruchen fur die registrierung genugen, blogs mit bestimmten domain-namen mussten sich nicht registrieren. In general, iranians were accustomed to such regulations but did not abide by them, as shown by the example of illegal cab drivers, who are also unregistered but still make a living from this activity. The law, according to kamangi, is ultimately a job creation measure: "who is supposed to go through hundreds of thousands of blogs every day??"