CAT | Iran
- A decision giving Canadians more rights to Anonymity
- Iraq’s recent blocking of social media and more
- Iran’s outright criminalization of social media
- A court decision requiring warrants to access cell tower location data
- Another court stating that irrelevant seized data needs to be deleted after searches
- A massive failure of data anonymization in New York City
- A court requiring a defendant to decrypt his files so they can be searched
- The Supreme Court ruling protecting cellphones from warrantless search.
- Phone tracking streetlights in Chicago
- And a small change for iPhones bringing big privacy benefits
Iran has taken the next step beyond censorship to criminalize the use of social media, particularly Facebook.
Iran has long had one of the most strict and effective Internet censorship regimes, but still huge numbers of Iranians were able to skirt the blocking to access social media websites, generally under false names. Actually criminalizing the activity adds a huge chilling effect to those striving for free access to information and speech. Using Facebook is now not just difficult, but also dangerous.
Obviously it is unlikely that someone positing positive messages about Iran, or the mullahs, would be prosecuted. This is a big stick that can be swung at dissidents and any opposition.
Ironically many within the government, including president Hassan Rouhani, have and actively use Facebook and Twitter. Hypocrisy is never lacking in repressive governments.
In the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is “The Dictator’s Practical Guide to Internet Power Retention, Global Edition”.
Under the pretext of being a guide on how to crack down on Internet dissent for dictators, it does a nice job of analyzing how the Internet is used by dissidents, and the techniques used by governments to crack down on those practices.
Thanks to boingboing for bringing this to my attention.