Discussion of Internet censorship usually focuses on China and its "Great Firewall." But the Chinese Communist Party isn't the only regime that censors its Internet. Little is known about Iran's censorship system because Iranian citizens who probe the network from inside the country risk reprisals from the government.But earlier this year, two anonymous Iranians teamed up with Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, to conduct one of the first systematic studies of Iranian Internet censorship to be published outside Iran. Users who attempt to visit a banned site see a notice that looks something like this: What gets censored?
Ahead of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s landmark European trip kicking off this weekend, French officials reportedly nixed plans for a formal meal in Paris with President François Hollande following a dispute over the menu.
"I couldn't imagine a world without Telegram," said one woman sipping cappuccino, holding the cup in one hand and balancing her smartphone in the other. With only a few days to go, she had plenty more channels to look at, many friends to consult on her app.
She expressed gratitude that Iranian authorities are allowing the encrypted service to work with no censorship or interference. Moderate and reformist candidates seem to be gaining most from the service. I asked the cappucino drinker, 30-year-old Elham Ghorbani, an English teacher, how she would be voting. The owner of one coffee shop, Faramarz Rad, spoke of a calmer, more contented atmosphere since the nuclear deal: "One of the most important achievements of President Rouhani is fulfilling his promise to get sanctions lifted," he said.
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian writer and founder of My Stealthy Freedom, told The Independent the country's government was out of touch with what women wanted.
"I strongly believe that these acts will bring change," she said.