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Citing Iran Crackdown, Freedom House Launches Net Freedom Initiative
December 30, 2009
The Iranian government’s mounting efforts to stifle pro-democracy activists have begun to threaten internet freedom for many outside of its borders as well as within. In response to this growing problem, Freedom House has developed an anti-censorship video series that provides assistance to those living in Iran and under other oppressive regimes to overcome government censorship efforts.
Freedom House's Freedom on the Net report documents the evolution of censorship as governments such as the Iranian regime utilize professional hackers and security experts to develop a multi-faceted approach to hinder communication. In addition to the recent hacking of Twitter, there have been numerous reports of the government tracking the activity of Iranian users around the world on social networking and opposition sites and using the information culled to make threats against friends and family members inside the country.
“We will need to use all of the technological tools at our disposal to stay ahead of these new methods of oppression,” said Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House. “We’re heartened by the ongoing efforts by the State Department and others to facilitate the use and development of circumvention tools. We encourage further investment in new technology and methods to help bring security and anonymity to mobile phones which are increasingly being used to document the truth in Iran and elsewhere.”
Videos produced by the internet freedom team at Freedom House include a briefing on the state of internet freedom inside Iran in the post-election period and the methods of suppression currently being used by the Iranian government. Additionally, there is a set of videos that provide resources for those living under oppressive regimes to circumvent censorship and stay safe online. The full anti-censorship video series can be found on the Freedom House YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/freedom4internet.
Iran is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2009, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2009.
For more information on Iran, visit:
Other links of interest include:
- Sesawe anti-censorship Consortium
- The TOR project
Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has been monitoring political rights and civil liberties in Iran since 1972.
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.