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Technology & Innovation

We Are All Iranians Now

Bloggers the world over are uniting to support free speech in Iran with all the brilliance and subtlety only the Internet could muster.

In a movement to obscure reporting from the Iranian capital, international bloggers are changing their location and time zone to Tehran GMT +3.30. Twitter users are also “going green” with their public avatars to show global solidarity via social media platforms. By flooding users into Tehran time, it will become theoretically harder for authorities to find those who are actually writing from Tehran. 

There is some debate over whether or not the effort to change time zones is in vain, as government’s generally monitor internet access tethered to ISPs or IP addresses, both of which indicate static locations.

However, it’s likely that Iranian bloggers’ IP addresses have already been blocked, so they are using proxy servers which allow Internet access through a remotely located third-party server. The search term “functioning Iran proxies” yields a constantly updated Twitter stream publishing the 11-digit proxies to free speech. One web and technology blogger, Austin Heap, even wrote a guide, “How to set up a proxy for Iranian citizens.” 

Iranian reporters and the international blogging community are worried that tweets are also monitored by their hashtags, the terms that label the subject matter of messages in order to be tracked. As the number one trending topic on Twitter is currently carrying the hashtag “#iranelection,” bloggers are encouraging proxies be sent to @StopAhmadi, which is less likely to be monitored.

If these web masking techniques work, we should all be Iranian and help ensure the revolution will be tweeted.


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