Especially in the wake of the "green revolt" of 2009, where three million people challenged the police in the streets of Tehran, the Iranian regime considers the Internet as the ideal strainer of bad foreign influences, especially regarding YouTube and Twitter.
Therefore, as of 2009, the Iranian Parliament announced that it would allocate 380 million euros to control the internet, improvising a sort of Police of the network baptized as FATA. With everything, much of the surveillance is automated. For example, just connect to the network from Theran and type the word 'sex' on Google to see what happens.
And what happens is that Google re-directs you to a page that proposes you to buy the Koran. It is also not easy to look for data on the former vice president Dick cheney for the simple reason that "dick" means penis in English, and the word is automatically deleted.
It is therefore not uncommon to find Internet cafes in Tehran that offer anti-filter computers, because many of the FATA filters are stupid.
Still, stupid is not synonymous with saving your life if they decide to go after you. As he explains Frédéric Martel in his book Smart:
In Iran, a real hunt for bloggers was organized. One of them, Sattar Beheshti, 35, also very active on Facebook, was arrested by Iranian cyberpolice and tortured to death at the end of 2012. A United Nations report confirmed, that same year, that they had arrested journalists from the web and internet activists for their digital activity.
It is not that the internet is subject to more comprehensive control than real life, it simply means that the regime has understood that internet is not something different from the real world. In the real world they already had their guards of the Islamic revolution (pasdaran) or the Police of the customs that forces to wear veil and fight against social immoralities (bassidji).
Now the fight has spread to the digital. Because everyone can talk to everyone on the internet, even outside the borders of Iran. And having too many points of view can be dangerous in order to keep something brittle sustained with unquestionable dogmas, the Islamic Republic (The tension between the religious and the secular is even perceived in its name).
Iranian censorship must also face American countercensity. Thousands of young Iranians exiled in Tehrangeles, antimulás, nerds, passionate about the digital world or startup employees, invent software in real time to deactivate the censorship of censorship in their country of origin. They never lack ideas and are willing to throw all the hours of the world; take advantage of the time lag to "unlock" the web.
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