TIME.com: Slamming Its Doors on the World — Jan. 23, 2006 — Page 2: “writers for posting subversive material online, handing them jail terms ranging from a few days to 14 years. Last June, following Ahmadinejad’s surprise election, the government launched a fresh onslaught, this time against the websites and blogs themselves. Using keyword filters and censorship software pirated from U.S. firms, the government blocked thousands of websites containing news, political content and satire. It even blocked the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The crude filters make it impossible to look up suggestive words such as women, so a Google search on women’s pregnancy produces an ACCESS DENIED screen. ‘The end result is a marginalization of women and women’s issues,’ says activist Sussan Tahmasebi.
Activist webmasters and bloggers are trying to navigate around the filters. Many have changed their domain names to get themselves back online for a few days until the censors catch up. Women in Iran, an assertive website carrying news and reports about women’s issues, switched from com to a org address after being blocked, was filtered again and is now accessible as net. Activists in Iran now hoard backup domain names, although they have recently hit an unexpected wall: Iranian Web developers say that U.S. domain providers have stopped selling addresses to Iranian Web clients, claiming the sales contravene U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. As a result, some activists are investigating the possibility of running their sites through satellite services, which may allow them to evade the government’s reach. Hossein Derakhshan, a prominent Iranian exile blogger who offers a quirky, Jon Stewart–like brew of political commentary, has watched Iranian visitors to his blog plummet from a high of about 8,000 hits a day to”


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