With a new Iranian fiscal year comes a brand new budget, and with a new budget comes the opportunity to gain an array of fresh insights into Iranian information policy for the year ahead. Although the new Iranian financial year won’t commence until 1 Farvardin 1393 (21 March 2014), President Hassan Rouhani submitted the new year’s budgetary plan to the Iranian Parliament on 8 December 2013, allowing us to engage in some closer analysis of the new numbers.
Then, on 22 December 2013, the research department of the Iranian Parliament - the Islamic Consultative Assembly Research Center (ICARC) - published an in-depth report reviewing the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology's (ICT) budget for the next fiscal year, and shedding some light on the ICT Ministry’s... read more
We’ve got some very exciting news to share with you. After months and months of intensive statistical, graphical and coding wizardry, we’re today releasing our latest report: “Unmasking the Arzeshi: Iran's Conservative Cyber-Activists and the 2013 Presidential Election”.
The best part of this project is that you can interact with the data, and draw your own conclusions, so we hope you take the opportunity to click around. Here’s a quick overview of the report, we hope you find it interesting!
The Iranian government claims it has thousands of hardline supporters actively waging an online war against the regime’s political opponents, but what’s the real story?
Over the past two years, the Iranian government has thrown out some impressive... read more
Since our last Iranian Internet Infrastructure and Policy Report (IIIP) we have witnessed a number of significant incidents that have offered us glimpses at the trajectory of Iranian Internet policy in the Rouhani era. We have identified three central themes:
- Iran’s filtering policies have changed dramatically since October 2013, with the main focus of censorship shifting to mobile applications rather than websites. Small Media has found that Iran’s Filtering Committee has been very active in overseeing the removal of different mobile applications from Iranian app stores such as Cafe Bazaar.
- The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has recently stepped up its harassment of online activists and bloggers, arresting at least 21... read more
On Friday 15 November we held an official launch event for our report ‘off the Beaten Track’ at P21 Gallery. The launch included the film screening of ‘Kick in Iran’ and an expert panel featuring athletes Mandana Mehranpour, Shirin Gerami and Khadijah Safari.
Misrepresented and under-represented in the media, the event was a great opportunity to discuss the representation of women’s sport in Iran and challenge misconceptions.
One discussion point raised during the Q&A was about the accessibility of sports to women in Iran. Mandana Mehranpour,... read more
In the previous edition of the Internet Infrastructure series, we focused on the individuals and themes evinced in the Rouhani Administration’s appointments to governmental positions related to information and telecommunications policy. However, statements from Ministry of Communications officials reported by this series, such as Ali Hakimi Javadi and Mohammad Hassan Nami, have hinted at how little direct power the government has over the administration of the Internet.
Two of these shadow organizations have captured the public’s attention: the Iranian Cyber Army and Cyber Police (FATA). The first organisation, formally known as the Police of the Space for the Production and Exchange of Information, has reached such a level of international notoriety that it was... read more
Iran may have voted against adopting it themselves, but member states present at the UN General Assembly's Third Committee vote yesterday overwhelmingly supported human rights in Iran.
We're proud to have worked with a great group of NGOs to generate buzz before the vote, by creating e-cards and Tweeting up a storm.
Small Media, one of 25 NGOs to sign an open letter expressing support for the vote, also helped convene a Twitter campaign on the afternoon preceding the vote.
... read more
We’d love if you could join us on Friday November 15th at P21 Gallery (NW1 1JD), when we will launch our zine “Off the Beaten Track” and screen the acclaimed documentary film 'Kick in Iran'.
It’s free to attend the event, but you must register!
Leading up to the London 2012 Olympics, issues facing female athletes from Muslim majority countries were in focus, and the Small Media team began researching the history, structure and representation of women’s sport in Iran.
Rather than put it in a stuffy report format, the team decided to publish it as a zine called “Off the Beaten Track”. The zine features research by Bronwen Robertson, Mariam Morshedi and... read more
At the time of the previous edition of the Iran Infrastructure report, the brief unblocking of Facebook and Twitter had prompted rampant speculation that the new administration of Hassan Rouhani had fulfilled its campaign promise of moderation for the Internet.
Given that its electoral success, along with its subsequent communications push and charm offensive towards the West was so intertwined with social media, the role of these networks has changed considerably within a short period.
Whereas four years ago such sites were blamed for promoting social and political discord, in the past few months the establishment has raced to reconcile the benefits of online participation and define new regulations, as Ministries and municipalities rush to make use of blocked... read more
On the early evening of September 16, Internet users in Iran began to report that they were able to access Facebook and Twitter without having to resort to anti-filtering tools. Although the censorship regime (colloquially known as the Filternet), had been known to fail for brief periods in the past, this time the opening paralleled the development of a political and social environment in which the relaxation of Internet restrictions has begun to feel inevitable. Perceptions of increasing state leniency have been fuelled by such positive developments as the commuting of web developer Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence to life imprisonment.
There have been a number of other signs pointing towards... read more
In our previous, election edition of the Iranian Internet Infrastructure and Policy Report, we docu- ment the application and relaxation of controls on Internet connectivity and communications timed with the June 14 Presidential polls. Despite the introduction of new mechanisms to block tools used to bypass the filtering mechanism, by July the Internet had returned to its previous state of affairs that existed before February.
From technical assessments and the reports of social media users, VPNs and circumvention software appears to operate normally for many, with specific restrictions still placed on the Tor network and unconfirmed reports of difficulties with Google’s Android services and Viber. Conflicting accounts of blocking (and unblocking), most likely reflect the... read more