Small Media Foundation Small media news feed IIIP // February 2017 Executive SummaryHassan Rouhani’s presidency has weathered four years of internal conflict over Iran’s approach to regulating online activities. This month’s feature takes a look at how approaches to online censorship have evolved over the period of Rouhani’s first term in office, from his initial campaign rhetoric that spoke out against it, through to the failures of ‘Intelligent Filtering’, up to the latest shift towards ‘crowdsourced’ censorship.In this month’s report we continue to review the major developments in internet policy for February 2017. The second phase of Iran’s National Information Network (SHOMA) was launched ... March 23, 2017, 5:19 p.m. Paradise Lost? Developing Solutions to Iran's Environmental Crisis Today, on World Water Day, Small media publishes Paradise Lost? Iran’s Environmental Crisis. The Iranian Plateau faces an unprecedented environmental crisis that threatens to reshape the economic, social and political landscape of Iran. Our new report, developed in collaboration with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, investigates Iran’s ongoing water crisis and the challenges facing civil society groups, journalists and the government as they work to pull Iran back from the brink of environmental catastrophe.The report is based upon comprehensive research, public surveys, and interviews with a variety of different figures working in the environmental sector, including policymakers, activists ... March 22, 2017, 5:51 p.m. Paradise Lost? // Iran's Dying Lakes The most visible symbols of Iran’s water crisis are its lakes and rivers, which appear to be on a trajectory of near-terminal decline. We will offer an overview of the situation facing two of them: Lake Urumieh and Lake Hamoun. These are only some of the most famous examples, but many other bodies of water are at similar risk of vanishing completely, including Lake Bakhtegan, the Gavkhouni Wetlands, and the Anzali Lagoon. Recently, environmental campaigners have elevated some of these bodies into matters of national importance, and the government appears to be taking the threat of their destruction seriously ... March 22, 2017, 11:22 a.m. Safeguarding Civil Society // East Africa In this report, we set out to assess internet freedom and establish the digital resilience of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the region of East Africa, specifically Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. In partnership with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Defend Defenders, and Strathmore University’s Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law, we carried out a policy analysis of current freedom of expression and internet-related legislation, 39 CSO interviews and a series of network measurements. Check out our full report on the link below to explore our full findings ... March 16, 2017, 5:03 p.m. Filterwatch 2 - Episode 2: Launching Phase II of Iran's National Internet March 2, 2017, 5:28 p.m. IIIP // January 2017 Executive SummaryIn December 2016, Rouhani unveiled his long-awaited Charter of Citizens’ Rights, which contained a number of promises to protect human rights and freedom of expression in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our feature this month assesses the Charter’s implications for internet freedom in the country, and questions the value of the document in the light of the limited implementation mechanisms that exist given the strength of the judiciary and Iran’s Supreme Leader. Also this month, we review the major developments in internet policy during January 2017. A month before the launch of the second phase of Iran ... Feb. 21, 2017, 3:18 p.m. Data Journalism Workshop This March, Iran Open Data is hosting a free one and a half day Data Journalism workshop in Central London. 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’ll introduce useful tools for data ... Feb. 16, 2017, 5:09 p.m. Filterwatch 2 // Episode 1 – Iran's ICT Budget 2017/2018 Feb. 1, 2017, 10:53 a.m. IIIP // December 2016 IntroductionIn this month’s report, we take a look at the recently announced ICT budget for 1396 (March 2017 - March 2018). We’ll break down the government’s spending priorities, and discuss what the figures might suggest about President Rouhani’s commitment to cybersecurity, national infrastructure and budget transparency. With the presidential elections set for May 2017, this is the last budget under Rouhani’s current term, so we’ll also take a look at some of the key trends that have emerged over the period of his presidency.Executive SummaryKey FindingsIran’s ICT budget has been cut by 2 ... Jan. 26, 2017, 4:23 p.m. Introduction // Safeguarding Civil Society in East Africa Building off the success of our 2016 report ‘Supercharging Human Rights Advocates in the Levant’, the Small Media team is excited to announce our latest project in a whole new region. Making use of the practices we’ve developed in our work across the Middle East, Small Media is setting out to survey the cybersecurity landscape in East Africa. Over the course of this project, we aim assess the state of internet controls in the region, and support the development of a regional community of internet freedom researchers, digital security experts, and human rights defenders.Over recent years, regional civil ... Jan. 16, 2017, 5:43 p.m. Tug-of-War // The Battle for the Telecommunications Company of Iran On 13th December the Director of the government-run Privatisation Organization of Iran Mir Ali Ashraf Abdollah Pouri Hosseini announced that it was considering the cancellation of the Telecommunication Company of Iran’s privatisation agreement. As a result, the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC)-controlled Mobin Trust Consortium is at risk of losing its majority shareholder status in Iran’s largest telecoms company, reversing the largest ever transfer of Iranian state assets to an IRGC-affiliated organisation. If the POI follows through with its threat to bring the TCI back under government control, the Rouhani government may be empowered at the expense of Iran ... Dec. 21, 2016, 12:06 p.m. IIIP // November 2016 IntroductionUp until now, it has been easy to fall into the trap of thinking about the changing Iranian media landscape as a battle between native ‘old media’ – newspapers, radio, and state television – versus a globalising ‘new media’ – social media platforms, online news providers, and satellite TV broadcasters. Yet new domestic companies are also threatening a radical shake-up of the Iranian media sphere, and none more so than the country’s Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) providers.Unsurprisingly, the state broadcaster IRIB is eager to maintain its hegemonic influence over broadcasting in Iran, and has tried its best to maintain a tight ... Dec. 20, 2016, 1:29 p.m. IIIP // October 2016 Introduction Amidst all the seismic political shifts of 2016, it’s easy to forget that the year began amidst the bright optimism of the Iran nuclear deal. As the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action entered into force on January 16 2016, Iranians waited with bated breath for an influx of foreign capital and investment that would rejuvenate the economy, and reverse the crumbling standards of living they had enjoyed since international sanctions were first implemented. So far, there has been no such economic miracle, and the much-hyped tech sector continues to face systemic challenges to its development. In this month ... Nov. 24, 2016, noon Iran: The Road Ahead On October 21, Radio Zamaneh hosted its ten-year anniversary celebration Iran: The Road Ahead at Pakhuis de Zwijger in the heart of Amsterdam, attracting friends and partners from around the world. Founded in 2006, Radio Zamaneh began broadcasting as a Persian-language radio station, with the aim of providing high-quality independent news, and a channel for marginalised voices unable to secure representation in the Iranian media.Over the years Radio Zamaneh’s mission has expanded, as have their capabilities. Nowadays, the organisation undertakes a wide range of initiatives to support the practice of citizen journalism in Iran. At The Road Ahead ... Nov. 2, 2016, 12:49 p.m. Cockblocked! —  Iran’s Latest Crackdown on Internet Porn ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi.In the ongoing battle between Iran’s censors and its internet users, fights over pornographic (or “indecent”) content have always aroused strong feelings among conservatives. Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spent millions of dollars and even enlisted the help of the Chinese government to try to stamp out internet porn in Iran once and for all, but his efforts never really bore fruit.Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani and his ICT Ministry adopted a more flexible approach toward Internet users, fighting to improve connection speeds and the accessibility of foreign communication apps like Telegram and WhatsApp ... Nov. 1, 2016, 4:08 p.m.