December 30th, 2009
12:21 PM ET

Iran's online protest faces more savvy regime

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/30/iran.opposition.rally.jpg]

Doug Gross

It was called the "Twitter Revolution" - the mass street protests following Iran's questionable June elections that were beamed to the world via social media and other online tools despite the government's media blackout.

This week, a loose, multi-national network of protesters, bloggers, Web developers and everyday Internet users has ramped up again in the wake of renewed anti-government street demonstrations that turned deadly Sunday on Ashura, a Shiite Muslim holy day commemorating the death of 7th Century cleric Imam Hussein.

This time, Internet analysists and online activists involved in the movement have told CNN that a government initially caught flat-footed at how easily information flowed out of the country was ready to fight back.

"It's clear the government has been definitely restricting the Internet in a much more controlled way," said Cyrus Farivar, an Iranian-American freelance journalist who writes about technology issues. "They're definitely paying attention and, at the very least, trying to intimidate people."

And retaliation has been brutal - both for those taking to the streets and those spreading the word online.

One of the most compelling videos to emerge from the recent unrest showed what the people who posted it said was an Iranian government vehicle plowing into a crowd of protesters, apparently running over and, they say, killing a woman.

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Filed under: Iran • Technology • Twitter
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tim Gibson

    The restrictions of tech use are nothing less than our own leadership would use as a tool should our society erupt in protest such as in Iran.

    December 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm |

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