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Ayatollahs Make Bad Netizens

Iran has made good on previous threats to stamp out “illegal and immoral content” on the internet, particularly where that content is “a threat to national unity or insulting to sacred religious texts and symbols.” Says the Guardian, Iran yesterday … Read More

By / December 4, 2006

Iran has made good on previous threats to stamp out “illegal and immoral content” on the internet, particularly where that content is “a threat to national unity or insulting to sacred religious texts and symbols.”

Says the Guardian,

Iran yesterday shut down access to some of the world's most popular websites. The clampdown was ordered by senior judiciary officials in the latest phase of a campaign that has seen high-speed broadband facilities banned in an attempt to impede "corrupting" foreign films and music. It is in line with a campaign by Iran's Islamist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to purge the country of western cultural influences.

For “western cultural influence” read “criticism of the Ayatollahs.” There are 100,000 Iranian bloggers (including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!), some of whom display a distinct lack of piety toward the Iranian theocracy. This “purge” will surely target them, too.

Instead of dabbling in schemes to bring universal internet access to already-hyperwired American cities, how much more awesomely, historically praiseworthy would it be if Google or some other tech megacorp blanketed Tehran or Beijing with satellite internet access and said it hoped to do the same wherever else governments fought the “information must be free” ethos of cyberspace? Is there a reason that's not possible (other than Google's compulsive need to kowtow to internet censors?)

Ah, well, in the meantime I offer to Jewcy’s vast and loyal readership in Iran the following three methods of accessing sites blocked by the Iranian guv (Adapted from a post at HideMeNot.com).

1) Enter the URL in Google or Yahoo search and then visit the cached copy of the page. To retrieve the page more quickly from Google's cache, click "Cached Text Only" while the browser is loading the page from cache.

2) Use the website Anonymizer to fetch the blocked site/page from their servers and display it to you. As far as the service Mahmoud is concerned, you are viewing a page from Anonymizer and not the blocked site.

3) Surf the internet via a proxy server. A proxy server (or proxies) is a normal computer that hides the identity of computers on its network from the Internet. Which means that only the address of the proxy server is visible to the world and not of those computers that are using it to browse the Internet. Just visit the proxy server website with your Web browser and enter a URL (website address) in the form provided. This page has a long list of proxies. You can either choose one yourself or let the service choose a random proxy for you. Also bookmark the DMOZ directory of free web-based proxy services and DMOZ directory of free proxy servers

For four more options, check here.

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