Sam Biddle and Murtaza Hussain report:
As furious anti-government protests swept Iran, the authorities retaliated with both brute force and digital repression. Iranian mobile and internet users reported rolling network blackouts, mobile app restrictions, and other disruptions. Many expressed fears that the government can track their activities through their indispensable and ubiquitous smartphones.
Iran’s tight grip on the country’s connection to the global internet has proven an effective tool for suppressing unrest.
Part of Iran’s data clampdown may be explained through the use of a system called “SIAM,” a web program for remotely manipulating cellular connections made available to the Iranian Communications Regulatory Authority. The existence of SIAM and details of how the system works, reported here for the first time, are laid out in a series of internal documents from an Iranian cellular carrier that were obtained by The Intercept.