Small Media Foundation Small media news feed Filterwatch // February 2018 In this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we take a look at five newly proposed bills relating to internet and cyberspace regulation in Iran. Given the lack of scrutiny they have received, we outline the importance of these proposed documents for the future of the internet in Iran. Given the potential importance of these proposed bills, we are keen to highlight the fact that there is a dangerous lack of a formalised process for civil society, experts and politicians to properly scrutinise the drafts. There is also a lack of clarity regarding the timeline in mind for advancing each stage ... March 28, 2018, 9:44 a.m. Filterwatch // January 2018 In this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we explore the Iranian authorities current rhetoric about the development and adoption of domestic apps in the country. With the temporary blocking of Telegram in January 2018 giving rise to a number of domestically-produced apps, we analyse 6 of the most popular ‘alternatives’ to Telegram. Whilst we don’t see it being blocked anytime soon, we think it’s important that internet freedom activists don’t settle too comfortably into the country’s current Telegram-centric state. Also this month, we document the latest developments in Iranian ICT policy and infrastructure development in the ... Feb. 23, 2018, 10:41 a.m. Twitter Reacts: IRIB Sanctions Twitter Reacts: IRIB SanctionsAfter hearing news that the US government is looking to impose sanctions on Iranian state broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Iranian Twitter users have been sharing their thoughts on the announcement. According to our initial assessment, Iranians on Twitter appear to be broadly supportive of the idea of placing sanctions on IRIB – the first time in our experience that Iranians have seemed to welcome the idea of a US administration imposing restrictions on an Iranian state entity.A Gathering Twitterstorm – Twitter Reactions from Iranian CitizensIranian Twitter users have been tweeting about the potential US sanctions ... Jan. 18, 2018, 10:19 a.m. Filterwatch // December 2017 The eruption of anger and frustration on the streets of Iran at the end of 2017 constituted the largest and most widespread demonstrations since the post-election unrest of 2009. Although the scale of the protests appeared to catch authorities by surprise, this was exactly the kind of phenomenon that Iran’s ICT infrastructure has been designed to contain and manage over the past 8 years.In this month’s #Filterwatch report we document the course of events, and the role of communications technologies in the unrest. We also offer some analysis of where Iran’s information control policies are at ... Jan. 12, 2018, 4:31 p.m. Filterwatch // November 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we take a look at the evolving nature of Iran’s internet controls, and highlight a few key considerations for the internet freedom community in the face of this shifting landscape. As the Rouhani administration turns away from the blunter methods of blocking websites and content, and pivots towards harder-to-detect measures of user incentivisation and self-censorship, we hope to illustrate the need for our community to adapt its approaches to counter the next generation of internet controls in Iran. Also this month, we continue to document Iran’s latest ICT and internet ... Dec. 18, 2017, 9:05 a.m. Filterwatch // October 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we delve into the ins-and-outs of Iran’s international ICT partnerships, both with governments and private organisations. Over the last few years Iran has made efforts to establish itself as a regional ICT-hub, and also set out to put itself on the world ICT stage. In this month’s report, we’ll delve into the 50+ international talks and partnerships Iran has engaged in, and establish how it sees itself on the international stage, and where it places international support in terms of furthering its regional and global ambitions. And, as usual ... Nov. 27, 2017, 11 a.m. Filterwatch // September 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we take a look at Telegram, exploring the its rise in Iran and the impact it has had on the internet landscape in the country. Also this month, we document the latest developments in Iranian ICT policy and infrastructure development. We learn that 60% of internet traffic in the country is used on Telegram, and that those that engage in advertising on the platform without registering with authorities face having their channel shut down. ICT Ministry newcomer Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi continues to – unsuccessfully – push for Twitter’s filtering to be removed, and ... Oct. 18, 2017, 10:33 a.m. Filterwatch // August 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we map out the ICT landscape in Iran, exploring the most influential policy making bodies that might influence Rouhani’s second term. We also profile Iran’s new ICT Minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi. Will the youngest Minister in Iran’s parliament champion internet freedom, or will he cave to the demands of conservatives?Also this month, we document the latest developments in Iranian ICT policy and infrastructure development. International tech companies feature heavily this month, ranging from the administration attempting to make deals with Twitter, to the ICT Ministry querying Apple’s ... Sept. 25, 2017, 10:06 a.m. Filterwatch // July 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we explore the push for transparency taking place within Iran, and how the internet and online tools have supported these efforts. We will highlight effective tools and initiatives being developed by online activists and investigate how the establishment is reacting to calls for greater transparency.Also this month, we document the latest developments in Iranian ICT policy and infrastructure development. This month sees increased criticism over the progress of the National Information Network – also known as SHOMA – from the Supreme Leader himself.And even though election season is over, conservatives from the ... Aug. 17, 2017, 12:23 p.m. Filterwatch // June 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we investigate the Rouhani government’s efforts to establish new eGovernment platforms and modernise a plethora of Iranian government services. As conservative and hardline politicians loudly accuse the government of dragging its heels on the development of anti-corruption and digital security infrastructure, how has eGovernment become such a politicised issue in recent months? Also this month, we document the latest developments in Iranian ICT policy and infrastructure development in the wake of Rouhani’s crushing electoral victory in June. This month sees a wave of new services being rolled out alongside government ... July 26, 2017, 12:45 p.m. Filterwatch // May 2017 Executive SummaryEver since the intensification of information controls in Iran after the tumultuous 2009 elections, the greatest perceptions of threat have generally been rooted in fears of the filtering of online content, and of the throttling of internet speeds as key moments of national importance (such as elections). Looking at the recent experience of the 2017 presidential elections, one might be forgiven for feeling a sense of relief at the apparent evaporation of authoritarian instincts in Iranian internet policy implementation – excluding the arrest of 12 reformist Telegram channel administrators in March 2017, the election went off without any mass detentions ... June 23, 2017, 11:54 a.m. Filterwatch // April 2017 Executive SummaryThe May 2017 presidential elections saw President Hassan Rouhani comfortably gliding into his second term in office, having crushed conservative rival Ebrahim Raeisi by 57.1% to 38.3%. Following this victory, we take a moment to review the role of ICT policy in the election campaigns of the leading candidates, Raeisi and Rouhani. On the one hand, Rouhani presented a generally progressive vision of internet policy, highlighting his record of opposing censorship in the past four years, expanding access, and lowering costs. At the same time, Raeisi presented a tougher line on information controls, sidelined the internet’s ... June 9, 2017, 11:41 a.m. Filterwatch 2.4 // Social Media in Iran's Elections May 31, 2017, 12:03 p.m. Data Journalism Workshop // Washington, DC Following our successful March 2017 data journalism workshop in London, this June Iran Open Data is hosting a free two-day data journalism workshop in Washington, DC. The workshop will be led by freelance journalist and data researcher George Arnett (formerly of The Guardian).Is this workshop for me?You’re knowledgeable about Iran and you’re either an experienced journalist or researcher who has published articles as a freelancer, staff reporter, or academic, or you’re a data analyst who loves finding narratives in numbers. If you satisfy both criteria, even better!What you’ll learnDuring this interactive workshop we ... May 25, 2017, 3:09 p.m. #IranVotes 2017 // Election Day Welcome back to #IranVotes!So far in this series we’ve followed the state of the Iranian election campaign on Twitter, and have seen how many familiar voices from election cycles past are still dominant. Rouhani surrogates continue churning out pro-Rouhani content, a smaller cadre of conservative attempts to do the same for Raeisi, and the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s tedious online bot army continues to chant their hollow praise of MEK leader Maryam Rajavi into the void.So although we maintain that it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening on Twitter, we’d concede that it ... May 19, 2017, 5:49 p.m.