Small Media Foundation Small media news feed Supercharging Human Rights Defenders // 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. Filterwatch // Episode 9 - Trends in Iranian Internet Policy Producer: Mo HoseiniHost: Kyle BowenEditorial Advisor: James MarchantDesign: Richard KahwagiMusic by Longzijun Oct. 24, 2016, 10:34 a.m. IIIP // September 2016 Introduction The Internet of Things (IoT) has become an increasingly popular topic in the Western tech press in recent years. And while the Iranian government is beginning to take an interest in the technology, little has been written (in English) on the prospects for the IoT in Iran. This report seeks to fill that gap by offering a brief overview the Iranian government’s approach to IoT, including a look at a few nascent IoT projects. In a follow up special feature building on last month’s report, this month we also explore Iranian authorities’ vision for the National Information ... Oct. 20, 2016, 10:57 a.m. Filterwatch // Episode 8 - Iran's National Internet Producer: Mo HoseiniHost: Kyle BowenGuest: Behrang TajdinEditorial Advisor: James MarchantDesign: Richard KahwagiMusic by Longzijun Sept. 23, 2016, 3:40 p.m. IIIP // August 2016 More than a decade in the making, in August 2016 the Rouhani administration announced that it was getting ready to launch the first phase of its National Information Network (SHOMA). Given the extensive discussions in the global press about the potential negative impacts of this ‘halal internet’, this launch had the potential to mark the beginning of a new era in Iranian internet policy - one in which the state took an ever larger role in regulating and monitoring online activities. But the initial indications suggest that not a great deal has actually changed. In this month’s feature, we revisit ... Sept. 21, 2016, 11:12 a.m. Filterwatch // Episode 7 - Iran's Digital Security Landscape Producer: Mo HoseiniHost: Kyle BowenGuest: Collin AndersonEditorial Advisor: James MarchantDesign: Richard KahwagiMusic by Longzijun Sept. 5, 2016, 5:26 p.m. IIIP // July 2016 IntroductionIn the wake of the lifting of international sanctions on Iran, all eyes have turned to President Hassan Rouhani’s government to see if the President can deliver on his promises of rejuvenating the Iranian economy, stamping out corruption, and ushering in a new era of prosperity for Iran’s citizens. Against the backdrop of the continued economic influence of the Revolutionary Guard, and growing public anger at cronyism and financial corruption across the political spectrum, there is an urgent need to provide access to accurate, transparent public data relating to the country’s development.In this month’s report ... Aug. 26, 2016, 5:24 p.m. IIIP // June 2016 More than three years on from the 2013 election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency, Iranian citizens are still waiting on a thaw in the country’s internet control policies. Particularly high on the agenda in the wake of his election was the idea that restrictions should be lifted on social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook. But now, with a fresh presidential election on the horizon, there are murmurings that some hardliners are warming to the idea of opening up social media to the masses. Why the shift in tone? We look back at some of our previous research ... July 27, 2016, 10:33 a.m. Filterwatch // Special Edition — Live from Citizen Lab Special edition! This month, we take a break from Iranian internet policy to bring you a live report from the Citizen Lab Summer Institute in Toronto. We caught up with Citizen Lab director Ron Deibert, and asked him about the history of the Citizen Lab, his thoughts on censorship, and some of the challenges he faces in his work. Check out the interview below.Producer: Mo HoseiniHost: Kyle BowenGuest: Ron DeibertEditorial Advisor: James MarchantDesign: Richard KahwagiMusic by Longzijun July 18, 2016, 12:01 p.m. #IranVotes // Twitter and the 2016 Elections Iran's elections in February saw voters decisively sweep away one of the most conservative parliaments in the Islamic Republic's history, and deliver a fresh legislature far friendlier to President Rouhani's political agenda. But how was this victory won?On 22 June, Small Media launched a new report in partnership with the Internet Monitor project — #IranVotes: Political Discourse on Iranian Twitter During the 2016 Parliamentary Elections. The report, coauthored by James Marchant, Amin Sabeti, Kyle Bowen, John Kelly, and Rebekah Heacock Jones, delves deep into Iran's Twittersphere, engaging in network analysis and content analysis to test claims ... June 22, 2016, 4:23 p.m.