No, No, The Net


According to reports in the Iranian press, the Ahmadinejad government is considering a mass Internet outage preceding the general legislative elections in March:

"Shutting down the Internet service will depend on security plans and on the Ministry of Telecommunication," said Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the interior minister, according to Etemad Melli, a daily.

At the same time, a senior election official, Muhammad Javad Mahmoudi, said a shutdown would help ensure that the government had unimpeded Internet service for the election, even though the governments' Internet lines had been upgraded, according to ISNA.

Iran has placed many restrictions on the Internet, but it has never shut down the Internet on such a scale. Several million Iranians follow political news on the Internet, and political parties have their own active Web sites.

I previously blogged about the Iranian crackdown on heavy metal here. Incidentally, Radar Magazine blogged the same item the following day, employing, ummm, very familiar language.