Iran Protests Continue To Fight For Freedom Online | Inquirer Technology

Iran Protests Have Become A Digital Battle For Freedom

12:34 PM January 18, 2023

The death of Mahsa Amini sparked a nationwide protest in Iran last year. Several months later, the struggle went beyond the streets and into the internet.

The Iranian government has suppressed freedom of speech online and used gadgets to spot and apprehend protesters.

In response, the people of Iran spread the word about their struggle on numerous social media platforms.


How is the Iranian government limiting the protests?

This represents facial recognition against Iranian citizens.

Photo Credit:

Authorities know that the people of Iran need to communicate to organize and rise against the government.


In response, they have clamped down on internet access, the most effective and convenient method of communication.

Freedom of speech defender Article 19 says the Iranian government has reportedly limited internet access in the country.


It has implemented curfews in a few locations so that mobile internet providers become nearly unusable from 4 PM to 1 AM. 

Article 19 also says major mobile carriers, Irancell, Hamrah Aval (MCI), and Rightel, have experienced outages on numerous days.

Home broadband connections have experienced extreme slowdowns and disruptions during increased Iran protests.

As a result, the cities with the most internet shutdowns have allegedly experienced the “most extreme forms of brutality from authorities.”

According to Article 19, these include Sanandaj, Saqqez, and Zahedan, where nearly half of the protester fatalities occurred.

The website added that it had disabled virtual private networks. VPNs allow users to change their location online and bypass nationwide restrictions.

Authorities also closed off the platforms that allow protesters to download VPNs: Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

They have allegedly geolocated and arrested protesters by accessing user data from food delivery apps.

Lastly, a report from WIRED claims that the Iranian government uses facial recognition technology to ensure women wear their hijabs according to the law.

How are the Iranian protesters fighting back?

This image was taken from the Iran protests.

Photo Credit:

The Iranian people continue their fight for freedom despite these digital means of oppression. For example, Iranians outside the country spread the word about the Iran protests.

They explain what’s going on by posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media. Eventually, government officials from other countries responded.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for accountability amid the escalating violence against protesters.

He also asked in a separate tweet to resume the free flow of information for the Iranian people. In response, billionaire Elon Musk responded, “Activating Starlink.….” 

On January 1, 2023, Iran International reported that 800 Starlink Internet terminals were active in the country. 

Moreover, Whatsapp launched proxy servers to help the Iranian people maintain communications in the app.

Its blog assured users that “your personal messages will still be protected by end-to-end encryption.”

Sky News recently reported that Iran’s digital protesters asked the international community to designate the Revolutionary Guard as “terrorists.”


The Iran protests started after the death of Mahsa Amini for allegedly wearing the hijab wrong. Months later, it continues and spreads into the digital world.

The internet proved to be a powerful tool for freedom in several instances. For example, Facebook was an important tool for Egyptian activists in 2008.

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TOPICS: Iran, repression in Iran, Trending
TAGS: Iran, repression in Iran, Trending

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