Hossein Derakhshan at PostGlobal

Hossein Derakhshan

Canada/Iran

Iranian-born Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan is a blogger, journalist, and internet activist. Since 2001, he has been based out of Toronto, Canada, running his award-winning weblog, Editor: Myself, which has been among the most influential blogs in the Persian language. Close.

Hossein Derakhshan

Canada/Iran

Iranian-born Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan is a blogger, journalist, and internet activist. more »

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January 30, 2007 1:20 PM

Calling Hacktivists for Disrupting Ahmadinejad's Pre-emptive War Against Persian Websites And Blogs

The press deputy at the Ministry of Culture in Iran has announced that all Iranians who hold a blog or a website should register them within two month.

Based on a recently written law in Ahmadinejad's cabinet, which surprisingly has not received enough media attention, any type of online content (in Persian language, I supposed) unregistered websites or blogs are going to be filtered after the deadline.

There are many noteworthy details about this new regulations that I have to talk about later, but I think it is outrageous, unconstitutional, and impractical -- very hard to enforce. (Will elaborate later.)

The registration is to be done in a website, titled "Samandehi," which means "giving order" or "regulating" in this context and is the title of the law too. So you should fill out a form with your name, birth certificate number, address, telephone, email address and your submitted website's address. Then they send you an automatic email and give you a username and password for possible future changes.

But the funny thing is that when I did that for hoder.com they automatically sent an email to info@hoder.com which actually doesn't exist as an email address. They didn't even use my main email I'd given.

Basically, it's quite a primitive way of gathering information in a database and there is so much room for abusing the forms and filling out the forms with totally false information.

So now, since I think this is totally outrageous and unconstitutional, because it denies the basic rights of free expression, explained by the articles 23 and 24 of the Islamic Republic constitution:

Bq.. Article 23
The investigation of individuals' beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.

Article 24
Publications and the press have freedom of expression except when it is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public. The details of this exception will be specified by law.

p. You can even use the article 22 to argue that websites are private properties, like people's homes, and the government can't regulate them pre-emotively:

bq.. Article 22
The dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation of the individual are inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law.

Anyway, legal discussion aside, I think I'm not going to comply with such outrageous and blunt violation of my basic rights as an Iranian citizen and I will encourage everyone to either ignore it or disrupt it using the concept of Hacktivism.

The best way to disrupt it could be submitting valid-looking misinformation for known websites and blogs to confuse the authorities, and also to fill the database with spam.

If you've got better ideas, please share it and spread the word. We must disrupt this outrageous violation of free speech and individual rights in Iran.


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