Iran Election Cyberwar


"To teach Dictators a lesson" series by International Society for Human Rights
"To teach Dictators a lesson" series by International Society for Human Rights

Clever photoshopped satire, especially since "[s]eventy percent of today's Iranians were born after 1979. That means that the vast majority of the Iranian people are under 30 and were not even alive during the first Iranian revolution." See Iranian Youth Tweet Up a Revolution — By Wallstreet Journal's Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite (6/15/2009)
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/susan_brooks_thistlethwaite/2009/06/iranian_youth_tweet_up_a_revolution.html

The Iranian Baby Boom: Why the Islamic republic has such a youthful population — By Caroline Berson (6/12/09)
http://www.slate.com/id/2220390/
The youth vote will be critical in the Iranian election of Friday, June 12, as roughly 60 percent of the population is under 30. In comparison, as of the 2000 census, only about 40 percent of people in the United States fall into that age group. Why is Iran's population so young?



In this timely TED video, Clay Shirky succinctly explains our increasingly inter-mediated experiences. His post-talk Q&A is more relevant to Iran's Election protests, but this video still provides a salient overview of why the ground is shifting. I transcribed a part of it because he's very quoteworthy:
China is probably the most successful manager of Internet censorship in the world using something that is widely described as the Great Firewall of China, and the Great Firewall of China is a set of observation points that assume that:
1) Media is produced by professionals
2) It mostly comes in from the outside world
3) It comes in relatively spares chunks
4) It comes in relatively slowly
And because of those four characteristics, they are able to filter it as it comes into the country. However, the Great Firewall of China was facing in the wrong direction for this challenge, because not one of those four characteristics was true in this environment. Media was 1) produced locally, 2) by amateurs, 3) produced quickly and at such 4) an incredible abundance that there was no way to filter it as it appeared.


external image ClayShirky_2009S_interview.jpg
Q&A with Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran
Chris Anderson: Talk some more about the sense of participation on Twitter. It seems to me that that has spurred an entirely deeper level of emotional connection with these events.
Clay Shirky: Absolutely. I've been saying this for a while -- as a medium gets faster, it gets more emotional. We feel faster than we think. But Twitter is also just a much more personal medium. Reading personal messages from individuals on the ground prompts a whole other sense of involvement. We're seeing everyone desperate to do something to show solidarity like wear green -- and suddenly the community figures out that it can actually offer secure web proxies, or persuade Twitter to delay an engineering upgrade -- we can help keep the medium open.
When I see John Perry Barlow setting himself up as a router, he's not performing these services as a journalist. He's engaged. Traditional media operates as source of inofrmation not as a means of coordination. It can't do more than make us sympathize. Twitter makes us empathize. It makes us part of it. Even if it's just retweeting, you're aiding the goal that dissidents have always sought: the awareness that the ouside world is paying attention is really valuable.
Of course the downside of this emotional engagement is that while this is happening, I feel like I can't in good consicence tweet about anything else!


Ze Frank: That Makes Me Think of...
What does Usain Bolt have to do with Iran? He makes Ze Frank think of the showdown in Tehran
http://www.time.com/time/video/?bcpid=1485842900&bctid=26894001001

Iranians find ways to bypass Net censors by Declan McCullagh (6/17/09)
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10267287-38.html

Could Iran Shut Down Twitter? by Jonathan Zittrain (6/15/09)
http://futureoftheinternet.org/could-iran-shut-down-twitter

The Challenges To Turning Off The Internet In Iran by NPR's Martin Kaste (6/17/09)
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105532292

OpenNet Initiative: Iran Filtering Report (6/16/09)
http://opennet.net/research/profiles/iran

Iran Election Crisis: 10 Incredible YouTube Videos (6/20/09)
http://mashable.com/2009/06/20/iran-youtube/

@DrThomasHo's #IranElection aggregators
Netvibes: http://azadi4iran.info/
Winksite: http://m.azadi4iran.info/


external image Iran_blogosphere_map.jpg
[Pre-Election] Mapping Iran’s Online Public: Politics and Culture in the Persian Blogosphere (4/5/08)
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/publications/2008/Mapping_Irans_Online_Public
Social network analysis reveals the Iranian blogosphere to be dominated by four major network formations, or poles, with identifiable sub-clusters of bloggers within those poles. We label the poles as 1) Secular/Reformist, 2) Conservative/Religious, 3) Persian Poetry and Literature, and 4) Mixed Networks.

external image 23censor.600.jpg
OpenNet Initiative: Technology's Impact in Iran
OpenNet Initiative: Technology's Impact in Iran

Web Pries Lid of Censorship by Iranian Government — By BRIAN STELTER and BRAD STONE (6/23/2009)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/world/middleeast/23censor.html
Iran's sometimes faltering attempts to come to grips with censorship in the 21st century are providing a laboratory for what can and cannot be done.