26 May 2005

Big surprise, the Iranian government doesn’t like blogs. I read a post about Hossein Derakhshan and his blog in the June 2005 Wired. It seems that in 2001 when the Iranian government closed the doors of 12 newspapers many journalists were left without an audience and many readers without their preferred news source. In 2001 Derakhshan, living in Toronto and missing his Iranian audience, found a way to combine Blogger’s free tools Unicode to display Persian characters. His discovery helped fuel the more than 100,000 blogs in a country with a population of about 5 million. Unfortunately, once the clerics finally figured out what the blogs were and what they meant, they took action. Wired states that, “last June the Iranian judiciary put in place a more sophisticated filtering system that blocks Iranian access to political Web sites and blogs.” Two months later they started interrogating and jailing bloggers, two of whom, Mojtaba Saminejad and Mohammad Reza Nasab Abdolhi, remain in prison.Wow, it’s easy to get steamed up about the censorship issues we face here and it is equally as easy to forget the censorship issues faced in other parts of the world. I found an older, more in depth Wired article as well.