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“Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Cyber Affairs Division Cracks Down on Internet Activists
Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Ja’fari-Dolatabadi provided detailed information on the arrest of several members of two cyber warfare networks in Iran. Charges against the arrested members include collecting information for transmission to foreign countries, disseminating fabricated information after the presidential election, collecting information on nuclear scientists, and hacking certain Iranian websites.
The IRGC’s arrest of the “cyber warfare network” represents the regime’s escalating response to Tehran’s definition of the “Soft War” with the West. The action also is a critical part of the organization’s intelligence mission to defend Iran from both internal and external threats.
The IRGC’s actions are part of a larger coordinated effort among various government institutions to isolate the opposition from the outside world while simultaneously enhancing and securing communication among regime loyalists. Report of the arrests came on the same day that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology announced it would move forward with its plan to create a national internet data center, which is intended to enclose Iranians’ internet communication within the borders of the Islamic Republic.
In March 2009, the IRGC intelligence services released a similar report, claiming that they had dismantled a number of Western-backed networks that were attempting a “soft coup” against the government through disseminating anti-Islamic and anti-cultural ideas. In September 2009, the IRGC boasted of its 2,000 cyber watchers scouring the internet. This latest move by the IRGC indicates that the regime remains cognizant of the threat posed by the free flow of information and is focused heavily on controlling both the means and the message.
Tabnak is an independent news site affiliated with Mohsen Rezaee, a conservative former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander and the current secretary of the Expediency Council who ran against Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential election. ”
For In Depth Analysis: http://www.persia-house.com/