first_img March 12, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Iran Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 News February 25, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Domain name : .irPopulation : 76 923 300Internet-users : 28 200 000 Average charge for one hour’s connection at a cybercafé : 0,95 US$Average monthly salary : 407 US$Number of imprisoned netizens : 8Iran, one of cyber-censorship’s record-holding countries, has stepped up its crackdown and online surveillance since the protests over the disputed presidential reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12, 2009. The regime is demonizing the new media, which it is accusing of serving foreign interest. While a dozen netizens are serving out their terms in Evin Prison, bold Internet users are continuing to mobilize.A smooth-running filtering systemCensorship is a core part of Iran’s state apparatus. Internet surveillance has been centralized, thereby facilitating implementation of censorship. Internet service providers rent bandwidth to the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (RGC). ICT is responsible for ordering the blocking of websites, which ensures a consistent censorship policy using filtering software developed in Iran. Blocking criteria are defined by the Committee in Charge of Determining Unauthorized Websites (CCDUW). The latter is comprised of members from several government branches and the judicial wing: the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the Ministry of National Security and Teheran’s Public Prosecutor. Censorship is done by combining URL blocking with keyword filtering, as deemed necessary according to changing current events. Among the keywords that have been blocked are the words “woman” in Farsi, “torture,” and “rape,” since August 2009, when one of the opposition leaders, Mehdi Karoubi, condemned the harsh treatment inflicted on incarcerated demonstrators in Kahrizak Prison.The connection speed for individuals in Iran is slow and limited to 128 kb/s. By order of the Ministry of Communications, households and cybercafés are prohibited from accessing broadband. This technical obstacle limits Internet users’ ability to upload and download photos and videos. Speeds can be even slower in periods of social unrest. The authorities rely on the Iran Press Law, Penal Code and the Cyber Crime Act of 2009 to prosecute Internet users. Article 18 of the latter provides for a prison term of up to two years and a fine for anyone found guilty of “disseminating false information likely to agitate public opinion.“ Site blockingIran applies one of the world’s strictest filtering policies, which have been tightened even more since June 2009. To date, authorities claim to have blocked hundreds of thousands of sites. One thing is certain: thousands of websites and millions of associated pages are now inaccessible in Iran. Iranian authorities had customarily filtered religious content and sites considered pornographic or obscene. But ever since Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad became President, the censorship has increasingly focused politically oriented websites, or those dealing with the women’s rights movement or the defense of human rights. Blocked “feminist” websites include,, and The reformers’ website,, is also blocked, as is former president Khatami’s website, has mainly affected news websites in the Farsi language, but the blocking of English sites is becoming more and more frequent. The BBC website broadcasts in Farsi have been jammed since January 2006, and the English version only since June 2009.Just before the presidential elections in the spring of 2009, the authorities issued a list of instructions describing how the campaign should be covered and the responsibilities of Internet service providers. These instructions went into detail concerning some twenty banned topics, including: “endangering national unity” and “creating negative feelings toward the government.” This is how news sites likely to contest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory – notably a dozen pro-opposition websites – were censored on the eve of the election.Since June 12, censorship has reached unprecedented proportions. Officials are tightening their grip on all news media and means of communication that could be used to dispute the “victory.” Pro-opposition websites such as, or new websites like, are being targeted. Censorship is even affecting such pro-conservative sites as, which highlights the divisions within the regime. Parlemannews – the official website of the reformist deputies’ minority fraction – has been intermittently inaccessible since December 26, after the Supreme Council for National Security issued a press release banning any ceremonies commemorating Ayatollah Montazeri, an Iranian religious leader who died last December 20th ( Some blog platforms such as are not totally blocked, but certain individual blogs have been.Social networks feel the full brunt of post-electoral censorshipIran’s regime considers social networks to be instruments of the opposition. Facebook and Twitter, which relayed the calls for demonstrations, have been continuously blocked since June 2009. and have received the same treatment.Participative photo- or video-exchange websites were among the first hit: and are inaccessible. The authorities want to block the transmission via the Internet of photos taken with a cell phone. Dissemination of the photos of the young female demonstrator, Neda Agha-Soltan, was too harmful to the regime’s reputation. The anonymous video received the prestigious American George Polk Award for Excellence in Journalism in February 2010, while Neda acquired martyr status. During the demonstrations of December 7, 2009, for example, some demonstrators’ cell phones were therefore seized by security forces. An as yet undetermined number of people who were taking photos or filming the events with their telephones may have also been arrested.Connection speed and tension indicatorSince the summer of 2009, as every new opposition event or potential demonstration approaches, Internet speed has been considerably slowed down in the country’s major cities, to the point of falling to 56 kb, according to some Internet users contacted by Reporters Without Borders. The authorities’ explanation is that it is caused by a technical glitch. They cannot allow themselves to cut off Internet access too long without jeopardizing the Revolutionary Guards’ economic interests, but some temporary down times have been noted at critical moments, such as during the 31st-anniversary celebrations of the Islamic Revolution on February 12, 2010. Widespread connection slowdowns, as well as total or limited power outages in certain districts, were observed in several of Iran’s largest cities, particularly in Tehran, Mashhad, Ispahan, Ahvaz, and Shiraz. Some cell phone companies would no longer allow users send SMS’s after the night of February 6. Cell phone signal jamming had also intensified.SurveillanceInternet user surveillance is made easier by the fact that all traffic has to pass through a single point controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. A cyber police force permanently monitors the population’s online activities. This partially explains the decision made on February 10, 2010 to suspend Gmail messaging service, which is very popular with the dissidents and more difficult to censor, especially since the emails are encrypted. But users can still access the messaging service via proxy servers. The authorities have announced that a national messaging service will be launched in the near future.The Nokia-Siemens Network company is suspected of having collaborated with the authorities and facilitated their surveillance of dissidents. Reporters Without Borders asked it to provide explanations in an email dated June 29, 2009. The company acknowledged that it sold traditional surveillance equipment capable of tapping phone conversations to the Iranian Telecommunications Company, but denies that it sold to the latter software capable of intercepting data or monitor Internet activities. A wave of round-ups target netizensWith some sixty journalists and bloggers behind bars and another fifty forced to seek asylum elsewhere, the Islamic Republic of Iran has become the largest prison in the Middle East – and one of the world’s largest prisons – for journalists and netizens. Some thirty netizens have been arrested since June 2009, and a dozen are still being detained. They include human rights blogger and activist Shiva Nazar Ahari (, who was arrested on December 20 last year, just before Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral. She had already been arrested on June 14, 2009 and held for five months. In Novembre 2008, cyber-dissident Mojtaba Lotfi had been sentenced to four years in prison and to five years of banishment for “disseminating opinions of the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri” and for promoting “anti-government publicity.”Several bloggers and journalistes have been charged with being “mohareb” (enemies of God). They may be facing the death penalty. A blogger dies in detentionOmidreza Mirsayafi died while being detained, on March 18, 2009. The circumstances of his death have yet to be clarified. He had been given a two-year prison sentence in December 2008 by the Tehran Revolutionary Court for “insulting leaders of the Islamic Republic,” and six months for “anti-government publicity,” after he posted the offending articles on his blog.The authorities retaliate via propaganda, infiltrations and cyber-attacksThe opposition has permeated the new media, but the regime was quick to find a way to convey its own message – thus triggering a war of words. A spokesperson for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards announced a plan to launch 10,000 blogs under the supervision of the paramilitary Basij forces. Young IT experts were recruited to form the Revolutionary Guards’ “electronic arm.” This Iranian Cyber Army is taking credit for cyber-attacks against numerous dissident websites.Another method used is to reroute certain independent website home pages by linking them to pages on websites relaying government propaganda. The Balatarin website – one of the protest movement’s online bastions – was victimized by this strategy.The regime also created fake Internet websites supposedly run by political organizations or the foreign media, on which surfers are invited to send in emails, videos, and post notices about rallies. This method thus allows authorities to accuse Internet users of being spies acting on behalf of foreign organizations.Cyber-dissidence is alive and wellThe Iranian blogosphere is one of the most active on the planet. The country’s young population is very enthusiastic about the Internet, not intimidated by censorship, and very familiar with such circumvention software as UltraReach and FreeGate, developed in the United States by the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, and which many Iranians use.Another example of mobilization occurred when hundreds of Iranians dressed up as women wearing a “hijab” and posted a photo of themselves on their Facebook profiles in December 2009. That was their way of expressing support for Majid Tavakoli, an activist student arrested in Tehran and charged with disguising himself as a woman so that he could make a discreet getaway following a Tehran rally celebrating National Students Day, in which he made a speech. Surfers around the globe expressed their solidarity with the Iranian demonstrators, as did the Chinese netizens who launched the “#CN4Iran” (China for Iran) campaign on Twitter. Links website of a student organisation dealing with human rights in Iran (Farsi) news website of the reformist party (Farsi) the website about Iran that is most visited abroad (Farsi) website of the official news agency (English and Farsi) Tagir Bary Barbary – (Change for equality – Farsi and English): feminist paper to which Maryam Hosseinkhah contributes Iranian feminist website (Farsi) website of the Iranian women’s association (Farsi) Follow the news on Iran After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists March 18, 2021 Find out more June 9, 2021 Find out more Newscenter_img IranMiddle East – North Africa News IranMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists News Organisation Help by sharing this information to go furtherlast_img read more

3 Ways to Virtualize Applications with Distributed Computing

first_imgThe explosion of data driven by sensors, data mining and social media and other Web-based interactions means that more and more companies will need to find ways of dealing with massive data sets – even companies that haven’t typically been data driven before. But new business analytics applications may require more processing power than your organization has ever needed before, requiring you to find ways to handle data as efficiently as possible. Infrastructure-as-a-service providers and inexpensive data warehousing appliances with in-memory analytics will provide options for many organizations. But some may find distributed computing a better fit for their organization’s big data needs.Scientists and academics have been taking advantage of distributed computing for years, but it’s an approach that can benefit information workers in other areas. Here are some methods of running applications in distributed environments, including some newer approaches. Beowulf ClusteringMade popular by NASA in 1993, cluster computing uses commodity hardware to pool resources for virtual applications. Pooling multiple systems allows you to take advantage of parallel processing. Parallel processing puts multiple processors to work on a problem simultaneously – multiple slower processors working in parallel are generally more efficient than a single fast processor working alone. Supercomputers use multiple processors for parallel processing, but a cluster of low-end machines working in unison can become the equivalent of a large supercomputer.Beowulf clustering is a popular architecture for cluster computing. The open source Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) software package and Message Passing Interface (MPI) implementations, such as OpenMPI or MPICH, are common software for building these clusters.The advantage of using this approach is that you can run an application on a large number of inexpensive pieces of hardware, including systems with completely different hardware. However, some of the newer methods we’ll discuss next may be preferable.Server AggregationAlthough a Beowulf cluster attempts to mimic the behavior of a single machine with multiple processors, each part of the cluster still has its own operating system and software stack installed. Instead of having a virtual application that runs across several machines with each running an operating system, the server aggregation approach runs a single instance of an OS across all the servers in a cluster. Therefore, all the physical resources go to the virtual machine.This can be a real cost saver. The cost of servers is non-linear, so it’s generally cheaper to buy several two-socket systems than a single multi-socket system. And since you’ll have multiple servers, they can be used for other purposes when you don’t need them for massive number crunching jobs.Server aggregation is a relatively new approach to virtualization. As far as we know the only company to offer server aggregation solutions is ScaleMP. However, we expect to see this approach take off over the next few years.Server aggregation makes sense if you want to use your own hardware. But what if you want to use a public infrastructure-as-a-service?Virtual Cluster AppliancesA virtual appliance is typically a VM designed to do a specific function with minimal configuration. Virtual cluster appliances are VMs designed for cluster computing right of the out of the box. You can learn more about the approach here.One of the advantages here is that these VMs can be deployed to a cloud service like Amazon EC2. Instead of hosting several physical servers running virtualization or aggregation software, you can have many virtual servers running in parallel in the cloud. You still get the advantage of massively parallel computing, but without the hassle of running physical infrastructure.The Nimbus Project is an open source toolkit for creating virtual infrastructure for cluster computing. It was used by the STAR project build a 100 VM cluster on EC2. Another source for virtual cluster appliances is Grid Appliance, which offers both a general purpose cluster appliance and one built specifically for Apache Hadoop.Photo by hutch Tags:#Server Virtualization#solution-series Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… klint finleylast_img read more

10 months agoHiguain agent arrives in London for Chelsea talks

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Higuain agent arrives in London for Chelsea talksby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus striker Gonzalo Higuain’s mooted transfer to Chelsea has taken another switch, with his agent having flown to London on Thursday morning.The Argentine is believed to be keen on a move to Stamford Bridge by cutting short his current loan spell with AC Milan.Nicolas Higuain, the 31-year-old’s brother and agent, was in the English capital on Thursday in order to sound out Chelsea’s interest, according to the London Evening Standard.The deal is made complicated with three parties involved. AC Milan has an option to purchase Higuain for £32m at the end of the season, and Juventus would want Chelsea to adhere to the same deal.However, the Blues are not keen to spend a large sum of money of an ageing striker.Higuain thrived in his one season under Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, when he scored 38 goals. last_img read more

College Spun’s Staff Picks For All 41 Bowl Games

first_imgCollege Spun's staff picks for all 41 bowl games.Believe it or not, college football’s bowl season is just two days away. This Saturday at 2 PM ET, Arizona and New Mexico will kick things off in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. In fact, there are five contests in total on the day. And as you’re probably aware, there are 41 postseason contests this year – the most in college football history.We’ve gone through and made our picks – including the national championship game. Who will be crowned the College Spun bowl game king? We’ll find out in the coming month.Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 1.58.22 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-17 at 1.58.33 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-17 at 1.58.43 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-17 at 1.58.51 PMlast_img read more