If the opposition depends on the internet and text messages to organize against an illegitimate government, what can that government do? Clamp down on communication, hard.
That is just what Iran seems to have done, with widespread reports of problems with both the internet and SMS capabilities in the nation.
You don’t even have to hit anyone, making it all seem so pedestrian. “We’re sorry, but internet is slow for a bit. We are working on it.” International outrage is hard to come by when the tubes get clogged.
This internet slowdown and text messaging interruption comes before a week of planned demonstrations in the region. The government is officially blaming the internet crawl on normal wear and tear, the “fibre-optic network is damaged,” they said.
And as if in recompense, the “breakage will be repaired by next week and the Internet speed will be back to normal.” That came from Communications Minister Reza Taghipour on the state Iran channel.
Oh, and why are the text messages not being sent correctly? That’s a problem based on “changing software.”
So there you have it, the tools (social media, email, SMS) that were so well used in earlier protests are now being cut down by a government afraid of its people.