Iranian net slows to a crawl before planned protests

Shipping tests immoral fibre


Iranian authorities have blamed fibre-optic network damage for a convenient slow-down in net connection speeds in the country this week.

The slow-down comes suspiciously close to planned opposition demos, timed to coincide with the 11 February anniversary of the Iranian revolution. Opposition groups, supported by many in the West, have used the internet and SMS messages to co-ordinate activities since the disputed re-election of President Ahmadinejad last June.

Government officials blame shipping traffic for damaging Iran's main optic fibre link across the Gulf, between the Iranian port of Jask and Fujairah in the UAE. Internet services and SMS delivery have been severely impaired during the last week. Communications Minister Reza Taghipour told Iran's state broadcaster that the "breakage will be repaired by next week", AFP reports.

It seems unlikely the repairs will be effected before the planned protests. Net filtering in Iran already blocks many sites for political or cultural reasons and this control can be expected to tighten still further in the run-up to Thursday's protests.

In possibly related news, the website of a radio station run by an Iranian dissident group in the Netherlands came under attack by a pro-government group of hackers late last month, Bloomberg reports. Radio Zamaneh's website was hijacked by a group using the name Iran’s Cyber Army for around a day, before control was seized back by the station, which is banned in Iran.

The very similarly named Iranian Cyber Army group used a DNS attack to hijack Twitter back in December, in order to protest against Western interference in Iranian affairs. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • India reveals home-grown server that won't worry the leading edge

    And a National Blockchain Strategy that calls for gov to host BaaS

    India's government has revealed a home-grown server design that is unlikely to threaten the pacesetters of high tech, but (it hopes) will attract domestic buyers and manufacturers and help to kickstart the nation's hardware industry.

    The "Rudra" design is a two-socket server that can run Intel's Cascade Lake Xeons. The machines are offered in 1U or 2U form factors, each at half-width. A pair of GPUs can be equipped, as can DDR4 RAM.

    Cascade Lake emerged in 2019 and has since been superseded by the Ice Lake architecture launched in April 2021. Indian authorities know Rudra is off the pace, and said a new design capable of supporting four GPUs is already in the works with a reveal planned for June 2022.

    Continue reading
  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021