Dissenting Iranian voices resonate online
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In this edition: Iranian opponents to the re-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continue to mobilise online; the Chinese authorities impose internet filters on all new PCs; two Frenchmen record their round-the-world marathon.
IRAN: PROTESTS CONTINUE
Iranians rally and protest tirelessly against the result of the presidential elections, judged by many as not being representative of the people’s vote. This widely broadcasted message is given by a blogger to his compatriots in this video.
In fact, the Web is echoing the wave of dissent which followed the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran. Many videos available online, such as these below, show protests held in the streets of Tehran as well as people's repression by police in clashes resulting in at least seven deaths on Monday.
And as a sign of solidarity, the Iranian community around the world has also mobilised, as shown by these videos filmed in Toronto, London and The Hague. The aim is to denounce what is considered by many as a fixed vote.
These accusations are repeated by this American blogger. For him, several clues lead us to believe that the results were falsified. One of these clues is the fact that Mirhossein Mousavi did not even win in the vote held in his own town of Tabriz, where he enjoys great popularity.
On the microblogging platform Twitter, which continues to evade censorship, net users continue to comment upon the changing situation in Iran. Here a user applauds a decision by the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for opening an inquiry into the accusations of fraud.
CHINA: WEB CENSORSHIP
As from July 1, the Chinese authorities are to impose the installation of a piece of internet filtering software on all new PCs sold in the country. The declared aim is to protect children from online pornography, but this measure is causing debate in the blogosphere.
Many net users have downloaded the software called ‘Green Dam’ in order to test it. Some people have revealed discrepancies in the system, which is supposed to filter images. The software allows erotic photos to pass through, while blocking theoretically harmless images.
The programme’s efficiency is therefore questioned. Others are denouncing a fresh attack on personal freedom. This blogger has, for example, discovered that the software bans access to all homosexual community sites, which have multiplied in recent years.
As shown by a net user via this demonstration posted on YouTube, the filter also targets certain political keywords. Sites mentioning the Tiananmen Square massacre or the Falun Gong movement, banned in China, are blocked by the programme.
Meanwhile, researchers at Michigan University in the US have discovered that the software contains programming errors which could lead to significant IT security failures.
These reasons are causing net users to rally against the initiative. This virtual petition has collected over 5,000 signatures since Saturday.
Others prefer to flout the censorship by hijacking the filter’s interface, or by depicting the software with cartoon character features.
Combat hunger in the US by downloading Internet Explorer: this is the offer currently made to US net users by Microsoft. Every time that the latest version of the software is downloaded on this site named ‘A Browser for the Better’, Microsoft undertakes to offer eight meals to some of the world's most disadvantaged people, through the intermediary Feeding America Association.
Frenchmen Julien & Loic had six months to make it around the world. And for them, running was the best way to see as much as possible. Back in France, they have posted their blog online. The video below gives details of their journey. South Africa, Bolivia, Australia, China, Chile & Thailand - dreamlike scenery for this round-the-world marathon.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
A few days before its release on DVD, an extract of the documentary ‘West Coast Theory’, providing an insight into American rap, has been broadcast exclusively online. It particularly deals with the digital revolution which shook the record industry. It also criticises production houses who are complaining of the financial losses caused by piracy, when production costs have considerably decreased, thanks to new technologies.
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