[IRP] Deep Packet Inspection - Iran and elsewhere

Phillip Roberts phillipcrob
Sun Jul 12 12:49:30 EEST 2009

Hi all,

Yesterday I watched quite a good episode of the Australian television
current affairs program Foreign Correspondent.

Essentially it relates to the way that YouTube, Twitter and other Internet
sites are being used by young Iranians in and outside Iran to get the images
of what's happened since the recent disputed election out to the world at

Most importantly the report includes a reference to how the Iranian
government is using deep packet technology to track down dissidents who post
on the Net about this. Here's the link where you can find both the
transcript and the video of this episode:


As the video lasts for 30 minutes some of you might find this too long to
watch in full. However the section in relation to deep packet inspection and
other forms of Net censorship starts at about the 21 minute mark so you
might decide to go straight
to that. Alternatively, I've pasted some of the comments of Professor Clay
Shirky of New York University below for you to read.

I'm not for a moment intending to say anything about the rights or wrongs of
the players in the Iranian situation.

Rather the report gives an example of how increasingly various types of Net
censorship technology are being used by authoritarian regimes around the
world in conjunction with other measures to control ordinary citizens. Often
these technologies are introduced under various pretexts such as protecting
children or stopping pornography.
Although some of us already know this, it's just good to see it gaining more

Best regards,



>CLAY SHIRKY: [Professor NYU] ?What we should worry about I think with
deep-packet inspection and all the other ways of intervening and distorting
and censoring citizen communication, is that if the government gains the
upper hand, they will gain the upper hand through military force and the
search for dissidents to round up and arrest, torture or kill will use
retrospective looks at the material that?s flowing through the network now.

>Just yesterday an alarming site in Persian went up with photographs of the
dissidents asking citizens to identify particular protestors. So clearly
they?re going after locating individuals and hunting them down?.
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