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But pictures were getting out…
Amateur footage of the protests, the violence, even some of protestors being shot and killed by the Iranian authorities had escaped the blockade, and had made it to screens all around the world. Chants of “death to the dictator” resonated across the globe.
The use of cell-phone cameras by the citizens of Iran carried a powerful message across the borders via the internet.
One of the most iconic images captured of the protest is that of Neda Soltani, a 26 year old student shot by government forces. The graphic footage filmed on a mobile phone shocked thousands around the world, and drove home the reality of the events in Tehran.
It is suggested that “she may have been targeted because she was using a mobile phone, one of the opposition’s most important tools“.
Cellular phones were clearly enemies of the state: capable of capturing images and footage, sending the footage in an instant anywhere in the world, as well as allowing instant communication.
The government has used technology from Siemens and Nokia to crack down on internet access and cell phone use. The UN and Angela Merkel have criticised the business partnership between German companies and the Iranian regime, but the very fact the government of Iran are taking such measures is testament to the danger the technology poses to the dictatorship.
Next…the Internet and Iran’s Twitter revolution, rallying Iranians around the globe and amplifying the voice of those the government wished to silence.