US likely to authorize millions for extension of ‘Internet freedom stategy’

Remember that whole “Internet Freedom” agenda that the US government is funding? Turns out it’s likely to continue into the next...

Iran tries to block Tor, declares VPNs illegal, and says cyber attacks will be ‘reciprocated’

Within the last few weeks, there have been reports that Iran has been blocking Tor, an online anonymizing tool, and PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols and...

US likely to authorize millions for extension of 'Internet freedom stategy'

US likely to authorize millions for extension of ‘Internet freedom stategy’

Cyrus Farivar

Remember that whole “Internet Freedom” agenda that the US government is funding? Turns out it’s likely to continue into the next fiscal year. The U.S. Senate’s 2012 “State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill” made it out of committee in September. It has a view key provisions pertaining to Internet freedom: Of the funds appropriated under

Iran tries to block Tor, declares VPNs illegal, and says cyber attacks will be 'reciprocated'

Iran tries to block Tor, declares VPNs illegal, and says cyber attacks will be ‘reciprocated’

Cyrus Farivar

Within the last few weeks, there have been reports that Iran has been blocking Tor, an online anonymizing tool, and PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols and most recently an Iranian general said that the Islamic Republic was ready to “reciprocate a cyber attack” by the US or its allies. On September 14, 2011, the Tor

No American firms sell online surveillance tools to Iran, GAO says

No American firms sell online surveillance tools to Iran, GAO says

Cyrus Farivar

Today, the Government Accountability Office (the investigative arm of the US Congress), released a 15-page report, which outlines that in the two years since the Iranian election, no American companies have been selling online surveillance tools to the Islamic Republic. Here’s the relevant section: The U.S. government is establishing procedures to implement the procurement ban,

Iran:

Iran: “We have solutions to deal with the Internet-in-a-suitcase.”

Cyrus Farivar

On Wednesday, ISNA, the Iranian Students News Agency, reported that Heydar Moslehi, the head of the Iranian intelligence service (who resigned a few months ago after a tiff with Pres. Ahmadinejad, but was reinstated at the request of the Supreme Leader) said that Iran was working on ways to counter the American Internet-in-a-suitcase project, adding

Hossein Derakhshan appeal denied

Hossein Derakhshan appeal denied

Cyrus Farivar

Both BBC Persian and Radio Farda (Radio Free Europe) are reporting that the Iranian “blogfather’s” latest appeal of his 19.5 imprisonment sentence has been denied. As I have blogged previously, Derakhshan was charged and convicted of: “conspiring with hostile governments, disseminating anti-Islamic propaganda, disseminating anti-revolutionary propaganda, blasphemy, and operating and managing obscene pornography websites.” He

Microsoft deal is good for Skype, Estonia's tech godfather says

Microsoft deal is good for Skype, Estonia’s tech godfather says

Cyrus Farivar

NOTE: My previous post, which raised my suspicions about how Skype’s recent acquistion by Microsoft, did not reflect an additional interview that I did with Linnar Viik, another former Skype employee, and an Estonian tech guru. That interview, which was published on May 12, 2011 for my employer, Deutsche Welle English, is re-printed here. -CF

Microsoft acquires Skype

Microsoft acquires Skype

Cyrus Farivar

Today, Microsoft announced its acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion. This is a terrible idea for Skype. (June 3 addition: What I really mean is: I’m a big fan of Skype and a big fan of Estonia, and I want to see both thrive. I don’t really view Microsoft as a beacon of innovation, and

Security experts have no details on Iran's claim it was targeted by new malware

Security experts have no details on Iran’s claim it was targeted by new malware

Cyrus Farivar

On Monday, Gholam Reza Jalali, the commander of the Iranian civil defense organisation, stated on his organization’s website that Iran had been hit by a new cyberworm, a la Stuxnet, called “Stars.” “The Stars virus has been presented to the laboratory but is still being investigated,” Jalali said, according to a translation by the Washington

Iran announces 'halal Internet,' new cyberdefense study programs

Iran announces ‘halal Internet,’ new cyberdefense study programs

Cyrus Farivar

On Friday, Ali Aghamohammadi, the Ahmadinejad Administration’s head of economic affairs was quoted in IRNA, a state-run news agency that Iran was working on a “halal Internet.” “Iran will soon create an internet that conforms to Islamic principles, to improve its communication and trade links with the world,” he said, apparently explaining that the new

Senegal's Gawker, Politico, and now, Groupon

Senegal’s Gawker, Politico, and now, Groupon

Cyrus Farivar

After reading about the latest Senegalese Internet news in BATIK, a local email newsletter, I was intrigued by the announcement of the launch of Dakardeal.com, a new Groupon clone in Senegal. (Apparently the site hasn’t launched yet, or is down for the time being.) Still, BATIK informs me that this site is the latest brainchild