Iran Censors, Slows Internet to Quash Protests

Text messaging and mobile service also slowed, blocked
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2011 5:39 PM CST
Iran Censors, Slows Internet to Quash Protests
Protesters make the victory sign, as they demonstrate in front of the Iranian embassy to show solidarity to the people of Iran and others fighting for freedom, in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.   (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

With the Iranian opposition staging a fresh wave of protests in the wake of the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings, authorities have stepped up a campaign to slow and censor the Internet to sabotage protesters' communication, according to Reporters Without Borders. Broadband service has slowed in major cities, a phenomenon noticed before major rallies in the last wave of demonstrations.

Iranians report having trouble making cell phone calls or sending text messages, and the specific keyword "Bahman"—the Persian calendar month that corresponds roughly to February—has been blocked from SMS traffic. In addition, two news sites, and—the latter has explicit opposition ties—have been blocked. (More Iran stories.)

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