EU: Iran Must Stop Censoring Internet and Television


Published by Austrian daily newspaper “Der Standard” on 20. March 2010
Source (German):–und-TV-Zensur-stoppen
English translation by @germantoenglish

An export ban on equipment of Siemens and Nokia is considered possible

EU calls on Iran to halt censorship

The European Union is considering measures against Iran for disturbing the transmission of programs of foreign broadcasting agencies, such as Deutsche Welle and BBC. “The EU calls on the authorities in Iran to immediately halt the jamming of satellite transmission and the censoring of the internet”, it says in a document that was made available to Reuters. Otherwise the EU member states will reserve their right to take counter measures, the statement adds. The document will be presented at a conference of the foreign ministers of the EU on Monday.

Initially, it was not clear which measures the EU could take. According to an article recently published in the French newspaper “Le Figaro”, an export ban on technology provided by companies like Siemens and Nokia that enabled the Iranian government to filter e-mails and eavesdrop mobile phone calls could be a possible move. Moreover, the French satellite operator Eutelsat, which is particularly affected by the jamming, could block the transmission of Iranian programs to other countries.

In December 2009, Iran started to jam foreign satellite transmissions, and increased the jamming prior to the celebrations on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in February. At that time, nearly 70 foreign radio and television stations that transmit via Eutelsat were jammed.



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