In what might be shocking news for proponents of free speech online and libertarianism, news from Iran indicates that the country is using advanced surveillance systems supplied by Siemens and Nokia to spy on its citizens using the internet, according to Wall Street Journal. The technology called “Deep Packet Inspection” involves:
“Deep packet inspection involves inserting equipment into a flow of online data, from emails and Internet phone calls to images and messages on social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Every digitized packet of online data is deconstructed, examined for keywords and reconstructed within milliseconds. In Iran’s case, this is done for the entire country at a single choke point, according to networking engineers familiar with the country’s system. It couldn’t be determined whether the equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks is used specifically for deep packet inspection.”
Have heard of the Stasi spying on common citizens in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and maintaining detailed accounts of their activities. Has that come to Iran too? What should be addressed, too, is the multinationals’ willingness to succumb to go to any extent to make profits.
Interestingly in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index Iran ranked 168 out of 180 countries surveyed and India ranked 84 out of 180. That only means one thing: less transparency means being neurotic enough to curtail their freedom of expression. What has happened in the tribal areas around Dhantewada where the massacre of CRPF jawans occurred is that corruption has got to such a degree that there is general cynicism and a feeling that “nothing can be done.” The poor who have been marginalised are moving to cities leaving the remote villages to exploitation of every sort and in extreme cases to militias. What will result? The rise of warlords and militias as happened in Congo?