Sunday, August 06, 2006

Keyhan: Restrict Internet Availability

Kurosh Salimi, Rooz Online:
Tehran’s ultra-conservative Keyhan newspaper which among opponents of the Islamic Republic is known as the ‘newspaper of the interrogators has published reports that indicate officials interrogating Ramin Jahanbegloo, an academician and philosopher who continues to be held in solitary confinement are searching to create new scenarios and excuses for him.

According to the daily, “An informed source has said that Ramin Jahanbegloo who is detained on charges of activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran has recently confessed that he had the responsibility creating a large network known as ‘web’ to gather classified information on political, social, cultural and economic groups and activists .”

This Keyhan source further claimed that Jahanbegloo had “confessed to be active in establishing a cyber espionage network in Iran codenamed C.E.S. and had gathered a group of Iranian cybernetic internet journalists through Yahoo, Google and other filtered internet sites for this purpose.”

From the perspective of internet users and experts this claim alone indicates the ignorance of the interrogators who had made these remarks to Keyhan. But their claims also indicate that Iranian intelligence officials desire to present a new picture of internet use and definition. The usage of such terms as ‘web’, cybernetic’, ‘Yahoo’, ‘Google’, or C.E.S. indicates that these agents are after deceiving officials, particularly clerics, who lack the simplest knowledge about common Internet and cyberspace activities. READ MORE

A journalist who had been arrested and interrogated several times in the past said that this news story from Keyhan does not necessarily mean that the prisoner has said anything or confessed to anything. In many situations, Keyhan and other newspapers under the control or influence of interrogators and intelligence agents pursue their goals and future plans through such statements. There are confirmed reports about extensive measures currently underway to pass on the equipment that has been purchased for the purpose of filtering and jamming satellite internet accessibility by private companies set up by the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Intelligence. It is quite possible that the purpose of this fake and false news reported by Keyhan newspaper which has clearly been prepared by non-professionals is to simply increase sensitivity of organizations and companies that have recently been bought through millions of dollars.

Even though today special committees exist to investigate internet and PC crimes and violations, the Keyhan’s commentary claims that Jahanbegloo’s confessions highlight the importance of implementing special measures to prevent such espionage activities.