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Iranian regime admits Internet ‘throttling’ during election

Thursday, 26 June 2013

INU – The Iranian regime’s communication minister has admitted that the regime slowed down the Internet during the presidential election for ‘security reasons’.

The confession comes after repeated denials from officials that the bandwidth had been cut, when they blamed the slow of halted service on technical reasons.

Now Mohammad Hassan Nami has told the state-run Tasnim news agency: “The decrease in the speed of the Internet during the presidential elections, which some claimed to be a technical fault, was security measures taken to keep the country calm during the elections. Currently we have no problems with Internet connections.”

And asked if the regime had blocked bandwidth, he replied: “If it had been there would have been no connections; whereas we used different methods to prevent foreigners trying to cause disruption during the elections.”

Nami also claimed that this measure was carried out by various bodies engaged in the country’s communication infrastructures of the country and overseen by communication ministry.

Meanwhile, on the day of election the website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran came under attack by the Iranian regime to prevent people from receiving news.

The admission by name came a day after an Internet security expert published first evidence that the regime had been ‘throttling’ bandwidth to prevent the spread of information during periods of public unrest.

Human rights campaigners are uncovering increasing evidence of Internet censorship in many repressive regimes around the world. During the Arab spring Egyptian leaders ‘switched off’ the internet in an attempt to prevent activists organising protests or communicating with the outside world.

The Syrian leadership appears to have done a similar thing on several occasions during the current civil war.

But in Iran, the government is pioneering a more insidious but just as powerful form of censorship. Instead of shutting down internet access, the government appears to be dramatically slowing its performance during periods of unrest.