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Support Internet Freedom in Iran

Diwan Diwan · Toronto, ON, CA
Support Internet Freedom in Iran
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Iran is a country where internet freedom is severely restricted. The government of Iran has implemented a number of measures to control and monitor online activity, including censorship, surveillance, and the arrest and prosecution of individuals for their online activities.

One major way that Iran is abusing internet freedom is through censorship. The government maintains a strict system of censorship that blocks access to a wide range of websites and social media platforms, including those that are critical of the government or provide information about human rights and political issues. Additionally, the government also uses advanced filtering technologies to monitor online activity and to block content that is deemed to be in violation of the country's strict laws on morality and religion.

Another way that Iran is abusing internet freedom is through surveillance. The government has implemented several surveillance systems that allow it to monitor individuals' online activities, including their email and social media usage. It also uses deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor and filter internet traffic. This allows the government to track the online activities of citizens, including the websites they visit and the content they share, which leads to the arrest and prosecution of individuals for their online activities,

The government also has policies in place to control online content and force the removal of certain types of information. For example, it's mandatory for social media platforms to store all data inside the country, making it easier to monitor, and in some cases, remove posts or user's account without due process.

In addition, the government has also arrested and prosecuted individuals for their online activities. Journalists, bloggers, and online activists have been targeted and punished for expressing dissenting views or sharing information that the government views as a threat to national security. This creates a chilling effect on free expression and undermines the free speech rights of individuals in the country.

In summary, Iran's state is abusing the internet freedom in several ways, such as censorship, surveillance and by arrest and prosecution of individuals for their online activities. These actions limit access to information, restrict freedom of expression, and endanger the rights of people who seek to express themselves online freely.

Iran has implemented several measures to control and monitor online activity, suppress people and censor information, and silence dissent:

  1. Censorship: The government maintains a strict system of censorship that blocks access to a wide range of websites and social media platforms, including those that are critical of the government or provide information about human rights and political issues.
  2. Surveillance: The government has implemented several surveillance systems to monitor individuals' online activities, including their email and social media usage. It also uses deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor and filter internet traffic, allowing the government to track citizens' online activities, including the websites they visit and the content they share.
  3. Arrest and prosecution: Individuals, including journalists, bloggers, and online activists, have been arrested and prosecuted for expressing dissenting views or sharing information that the government views as a threat to national security. This creates a chilling effect on free expression and undermines the free speech rights of individuals in the country.
  4. Control of online content: The government has policies to control online content and force the removal of certain types of information. For example, it is mandatory for social media platforms to store all data inside the country, making it easier to monitor and in some cases, remove posts or user's accounts without due process.
  5. Internet blackouts: The government sometimes blocks internet access in certain regions or during specific events, such as protests, to limit people's ability to share information or organize dissent.
  6. Cyberattacks: the government has been known to use cyberattacks to disrupt the activities of opposition groups and silence dissenting voices. This includes hacking into social media accounts and websites, stealing sensitive information, and spreading disinformation.
  7. Propaganda: the government controls the media to spread propaganda and disinformation to shape public opinion and silence dissenting voices.

These measures restrict access to information, limit freedom of expression, and create an environment where people are afraid to speak out or share information the government views as a threat to its control. It's also important to note that access to the internet is not universal, and the the cost of the internet is relatively high. This means that internet access is mainly limited to urban areas and certain socio-economic groups, making it even harder for people to access information and express themselves freely.

There are several ways Iran is using surveillance to suppress dissent in Iran and across the diaspora:

  1. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI): This technology allows the government to monitor and filter internet traffic and track citizens' online activities, including the websites they visit and the content they share. This can be used to identify individuals who are critical of the government or share information that the government views as a threat to national security.
  2. Social Media Monitoring: The government monitors social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to track the activities of Iranian citizens, both within the country and in the diaspora. This allows the government to identify individuals sharing information it views as a threat and to take action against them.
  3. Email Surveillance: The government monitors email communication, both within the country and in the diaspora, to track the activities of individuals who are critical of the government or who are sharing information that the government views as a threat.
  4. Mobile Phone Tracking: The government has implemented technology that allows it to track the location of individuals using their mobile phones. This can be used to identify individuals who are taking part in protests or other forms of dissent, both within the country and in the diaspora.
  5. Biometric Surveillance: The government is implementing biometric surveillance systems, such as facial recognition, to track the movements and activities of individuals. This can be used to identify individuals who are taking part in protests or other forms of dissent, both within the country and in the diaspora.
  6. Cyberattacks: the government has been known to use cyberattacks to disrupt the activities of opposition groups and silence dissenting voices. This includes hacking into social media accounts and websites, stealing sensitive information, and spreading disinformation.

These surveillance technologies are used to track and monitor the activities of Iranian citizens, both within the country and in the diaspora. This allows the government to identify individuals who are critical of the government or are sharing information that the government views as a threat and to take action against them. This creates a chilling effect on free expression and undermines the free speech rights of Iranians inside and outside the country.

Several international legal mechanisms could be used to hold Iran accountable:

  1. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): This treaty, which Iran is a state party, guarantees the rights to freedom of expression, privacy, and peaceful assembly. Article 19 of the ICCPR guarantees the right to freedom of expression which includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers. ICCPR also has a procedure for receiving and investigating complaints about violations of the Covenant, by individuals and NGOs.
  2. The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) is another treaty that Iran is not a state party but is recognized by some countries and has procedure for receiving and investigating complaints about violations of the Convention. This Convention guarantees the right to freedom of expression, privacy, and peaceful assembly.
  3. The United Nations General Assembly's Resolution on the Promotion, Protection, and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet (UN GA Resolution 68/167) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2013. It calls on States to respect and protect the human rights of all individuals on the internet and to refrain from violating those rights.
  4. The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression is an independent expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to examine, monitor, and publicly report on the rights to freedom of opinion and expression worldwide.
  5. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran is another independent expert appointed by the UNHRC, who monitors the human rights situation in the country, including internet freedom and freedom of expression

These international legal mechanisms provide a framework for holding Iran accountable for violating internet freedom rights and using surveillance to censor and suppress people. However, it should be noted that these mechanisms can only be used effectively if they are ratified and incorporated into the domestic legal system and enforced by the government. Additionally, filing a complaint or submitting a communication to the relevant UN treaty body or a regional human rights mechanisms could also be an effective way to raise awareness and put pressure on Iran to fulfill its obligation on internet freedom rights.

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Letter to

We, the undersigned, urge you to support internet freedom in Iran and the rights of Iranians to have access to safe, secure, and free internet.

The government of Iran has a long history of censorship and restrictions on internet access, including the blocking of websites and social media platforms, as well as the monitoring of online activity. This has hindered not only the free flow of information but also limited Iranians' ability to communicate with the rest of the world and to express their opinions freely.

We believe that internet freedom is a fundamental human right and that the international community is responsible for supporting the people of Iran in their efforts to gain access to the free and open internet.

We, therefore, call on you to take action to support internet freedom in Iran, including by:

-Calling on the government of Iran to end its censorship and restrictions on internet access

-Supporting the development of technologies and tools that can help Iranians bypass censorship and access a free and open internet

-Encouraging international companies and organizations to invest in and support projects that promote internet freedom in Iran

-Providing support and resources to human rights organizations and activists working on internet freedom in Iran

We believe that by working together, we can help the people of Iran achieve the internet freedom they deserve. Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

Sincerely,

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Diwan
Diwan
Started this petition 1 year ago

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1,452 Supporters
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Fact score: 100%
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