This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.
The Tyee excerpts the introduction to Nasrin Alavi’s new book, We Are Iran, which chronicles the blogs of Iran. Blogging exploded in Iran after 2001 – Farsi is the fourth most used language for blogging – despite the very real and increasing dangers:
In October 2004, while several Internet journalists and bloggers were held in undisclosed locations awaiting trial, Ayatollah Shahrudi, the head of the judiciary, announced new laws expressly covering ‘cyber crimes’: anyone ‘propagating against the regime, acting against national security, disturbing the public mind and insulting religious sanctities through computer systems or telecommunications would be punished’. This announcement was accompanied by a number of articles in state propaganda newspapers, such the Keyhan daily, which ‘exposed’ the Iranian blogosphere as a ‘network led by the CIA conspiring to overthrow the regime’.