As Boing Boing reported yesterday, and the Guardian confirms today, the Iranian government has instructed ISPs to limit the bandwidth of internet accounts to 128kbps. The aim: To curb a western “cultural invasion”. Yesterday’s decree follows a crackdown on satellite antennas over the past month.
You have to give those hardliners points for trying. Anything that is bandwidth intensive will now be spectacularly frustrating to do — including using Google Earth.
But if the conservatives’ intention is that Iranians will now merely stop downloading music, movies or imagery, then they’ve got something else coming. Throttling access to the internet by decree is, well, cultural waterboarding. It makes its victims very very angry. And as the Guardian reports, all the signs are that this latest decree is incredibly unpopular.