Monday, November 24, 2014


Persian Letters

Iran Says Facebook And Twitter Are Country's 'Hidden Enemies'

Iranian state-controlled television has accused Facebook and Twitter of being Iran’s “hidden enemies” and tools used by Western intelligence agencies in order to recruit new members and gather data on individuals.

The website Mardomak has posted a video of the report.

The segment starts with a short biography of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, but then goes on to say that the website is social only in appearance. According to the report: "The aim of Facebook is to identify people for special operations for Western spying agencies."

It includes a short interview with an unidentified individual whose face is darkened and who claims he works for Facebook and cooperates with Western intelligence agencies.

“I‘ve been working for Facebook for a year and a half. I provide spy organizations with information and sell them information they need. I’m not unhappy with this work because I get a lot of money for doing it,” the unnamed individual said.

Twitter is also accused in the report of providing information about individuals to Western intelligence agencies.

“Twitter gives people the habit of informing others about their activities every second, therefore information that is not accessible on other sites is being extracted from people in order to be given to Western intelligence organizations,” according to the program's narrator. (Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is also on Twitter and he tweets often about his views and activities.)

The report features an interview with another unidentified individual who claims he was told by Twitter officials to provide them with tapes of his conversations with friends and colleagues in case "one day it would be used by spy agencies.”

The report adds that Facebook and Twitter were involved in “a psychological and propaganda war,” which according to the report was launched against Iran following last year’s disputed presidential vote.

The report is a sign of Iran’s growing concern over the popularity of social-networking websites among young Iranians, many of whom have used Facebook to share news, images, and videos of protests and information about the plight of political prisoners.

The opposition movement, however, is increasingly trying to reach out to the less affluent segments of Iranian society, many of whom are not online.

Members of the Green movement based outside Iran announced in early September that they have launched a new satellite TV channel, RASA TV, to break the state-controlled broadcasters' monopoly on the flow of information.

Meanwhile, the Kalame website, which is close to opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, announced recently that it is launching a newspaper.

Three pre-launch issues are available on the websites as PDF. The site has called on readers to print them out and share them with “their neighbors, classmates, and colleagues.”

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

Tags: twitter,Facebook,Green Movement,social networking websites

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: San Francisco,CA
September 29, 2010 21:19
Paranoia will destroy ya

by: General manzeh from: UK
October 01, 2010 12:01
Are you not the journalist who claimes Twitter played no part in Iran protests? The one who libeled various high profile Twitterers?

by: Jack Decking from: Germany
October 20, 2010 17:14
Here's the video the article is talking about with English subtitles - spread it around:

http://youtu.be/V9bluTcULG0

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

Guerrilla Translators

Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org