Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Tale On Two Ostriches and Their Piles of Sand

What is happening to the BBC Persian web-site in Iran these days reminds me an ostrich that just by hiding its head under a pile of sand believes that the horrible dog threateningly approaching it has disappeared and there is no more threat that could bother the ostrich anymore. The site has been blocked by Iran’s new puritan rulers almost a month ago. Presumably they have used a censorware such as Smartfilter produced by the same threatening dog – the States – to filter the website. Anyway the American communication company Secure Computing had been accused by a research corporation called OpenNet of providing Tehran with a censorware. We have no proof of the accusation so far though.

But what is well-known is the origin of that kind of software, of course the US. They use it in various purposes including blocking services for rogue states like Iran. But usually it is not Ahmadinejad and his gang that feel the deprivation of any sort in the Internet field; probably they’ve already been provided with an anti-censorware by the same dog. It’s again those with a forbidden word in their hearts that have no access to some American domains, not able to download Google in their computers and deprived from PayPal services; the very site created by EBay; the very EBay created by Pierre Omidyar, a French Persian. It sounds ironic, doesn’t it? But it proves that, funnily enough, dogs can metamorphose themselves into ostriches too at times.

How far can you go by hiding your head under the sand? Physically, not even for an inch. Mentally, you will definitely go backwards up to the 7th century maybe or even farther and at the end of the day will find yourself in a deep and dark pitfall. Or finally will wake up from a deep sting on your ass left by the very threatening dog.

I just don’t understand why they don’t put their sordid minds at rest and move on. Centuries of wisdom have failed to make them understand that forbidden fruit is even sweeter; to be more precise, the ostriches have failed to realize this truth. Tight control over net-surfing and weblog-creating in Iran has put this country on the top of the list of the countries that host more blogs. As far as I remember, Iran was the forth last year with almost 70 000 weblogs. More than 7.5 million Internet users in Iran will not rest their hands on their keyboards and wait until the fruit becomes un-forbidden and consequently un-sweet. I’m sure a loophole will be found, only if not found already, and the bottom of the ostrich will be bitten badly. Ouch!

And the American ostrich has no reason to be proud of its sandy haven either. I know a couple of Internet worms in Tehran that easily can use PayPal transactions whenever needed after typing the word “ostrich” in their Google browsers. Hence, ostriches, beware!

PS. The first attempt to filter BBC Persian website in Iran occurred on 16 January, when all five veto-wielding powers of the UN plus Germany were plotting against Iran in London. However, by blocking the site the problem has not been solved yet, nor Iranian inquisitive writers have stopped questioning the crisis.

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