Saturday, February 21, 2004

Thanks to Jeff Jarvis for the link.

In an e-mail I just sent him I mentioned the fact that I'm keen to do a story about Iranian bloggers while I'm here -- if time and visa extensions allow.

With another two newspapers closed down on the eve of the election for publishing a letter by reformists barred from standing in the election, criticising Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, I speculated whether Iran's media is facing another clampdown after the election. With the conservatives set to take charge of the parliament, or majlis, will they be emboldened to crack down on the media -- and will bloggers become an increasingly important news source?

I signed off my e-mail to Jeff by saying that the authorities here can silence the mainstream media -- but will they be able to silence the bloggers?

I may have already found my answer.

I tried to log on to Hossein Derakhshan's site because from the stats it looks like he's also given me a mention. He's an Iranian living in Canada who's done a lot of work promoting and helping his fellow Iranian bloggers.

My browser gave me a stern message -- "THE REQUESTED PAGE IS FORBIDDEN. I tried a proxy server instead. Same message.

I asked my translator, Negar, to tell me more about net censorship. She explained that as well as all porn sites, anything deemed seditious is also blocked by the local ISP.

Iran Filter isn't blocked, though -- presumably because it's in English and therefore can't pollute the minds of Farsi speakers.

If anyone's able to cut and paste Hoder's blog entry about this site and e-mail it, I'd appreciate it.


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