The Iranian government’s decision to shut down social media apps in the wake of countrywide protests is only the latest chapter in the Islamic regime’s use of internet technologies to secretly monitor and repress dissidents.
Since 2009, Iran’s mullahs have mastered the surveillance capabilities of the internet and smart phones, in large part due to critical help they’ve received from western telecom companies, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
Their technical help permits Iranian authorities to read emails and text messages, track online activity as well as tap phone calls and monitor the movement of activists with their smart phones, according to Reporters Without Borders.
The sale of Western telecom technology to the Islamic state, which could be used to spy on its citizens, is the “West’s dirty little secret,” according to an Iranian dissident who once was attached to the U.S. Government’s Middle East Broadcasting Networks. Although he lives in the U.S., he asked for anonymity for fear of retaliation by the Iranian regime.