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Change your Twitter location to Tehran

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Change your Twitter location to Tehran

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 45 total)
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  • #280667

    JonMyers
    Participant

    @Jim – I could be wrong, but I thought the API exposed user IPs?

    #280668

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    JimL2 wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    They would sift IPs for location not text declarations of location.

    I don’t think twitter publicly shows your IP address… especially not when you post via cell phone, which IIRC is the entire point of Twitter.

    it doesn’t matter, the state runs and monitors both the ISP and cellular networks. They already know the IP addresses, the account holder currently using the IP, phone ESNs, account holder currently using a given ESN, and can easily log traffic to figure out who sent what message.

    The fact that they have only been spot filtering traffic to various networks and have only shut down text messaging services temporarily in some places means they’re just not really trying that hard to block the traffic. Perhaps they prefer to simply gather a list of names and then use the (not so)secret police to “investigate” later as the chinese did 20 years ago.

    Setting your twitter location will be a symbolic gesture at best.

    at last count there were 16 clandestine shortwave stations broadcasting out of iran and an unknown number of shortwave/am/fm pirates. Good luck tracking those guys. :)

    #280669

    somertimeoh
    Participant

    I assumed it was more of a support thing as well, like changing your avatar to green. Honestly, Twitter’s roll in getting information out lost it’s value after the press started talking about Twitter being used to get information out. All the hash tags got cluttered with BS and tons of RT’s so it became much less informative and more time consuming to rummage through. Even though it resulted in an oddly emotional experience for me, I’m grateful for the information, pictures, videos, and updates I got to see as they were happening.

    #280670

    jkostelac
    Member

    Rockmastermike wrote >>

    JimL2 wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    They would sift IPs for location not text declarations of location.

    I don’t think twitter publicly shows your IP address… especially not when you post via cell phone, which IIRC is the entire point of Twitter.

    it doesn’t matter, the state runs and monitors both the ISP and cellular networks. They already know the IP addresses, the account holder currently using the IP, phone ESNs, account holder currently using a given ESN, and can easily log traffic to figure out who sent what message.
    The fact that they have only been spot filtering traffic to various networks and have only shut down text messaging services temporarily in some places means they’re just not really trying that hard to block the traffic. Perhaps they prefer to simply gather a list of names and then use the (not so)secret police to “investigate” later as the chinese did 20 years ago.
    Setting your twitter location will be a symbolic gesture at best.
    at last count there were 16 clandestine shortwave stations broadcasting out of iran and an unknown number of shortwave/am/fm pirates. Good luck tracking those guys. :)

    I have to disagree, if Iran’s inability to Photoshop is any clue I honestly think it can cause enough confusion to help protect people trying to get the word out.

    #280671

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    jkostelac wrote >>
    I have to disagree, if Iran’s inability to Photoshop is any clue I honestly think it can cause enough confusion to help protect people trying to get the word out.

    the mear fact the the internet and phone services do function most of the time mean that you can’t entirely depend on the incompetence, and speaking as a former network administrator, it would take a LOT of incompetence not to know how to run a network sniffer.

    #280672

    jkostelac
    Member

    Rockmastermike wrote >>

    jkostelac wrote >>
    I have to disagree, if Iran’s inability to Photoshop is any clue I honestly think it can cause enough confusion to help protect people trying to get the word out.

    the mear fact the the internet and phone services do function most of the time mean that you can’t entirely depend on the incompetence, and speaking as a former network administrator, it would take a LOT of incompetence not to know how to run a network sniffer.

    True enough, but it’s so little effort and risk on our part, it is worth trying.

    #280673

    Jim Lauwers
    Participant

    But again… if this was enough to protect the Iranian twitterers, why wouldn’t they just change their location and not have to rely on a bunch of people they’ve never met?

    Answer: because it’s a stupid idea that won’t work.

    #280674

    jkostelac
    Member

    Yeah but its not like we are sending money to the son of the deposed king of Nigeria. I changed two twitter settings and it took 10 seconds. I have spent more time talking about it than it took to do it.

    #280675

    Bear
    Participant

    So, just out of curiosity — and, thinking forward (perhaps) to future situations like this one… what do you guys think might be useful?

    Let me pose the question this way. You’ve got all the time in the world to reflect on it. There’s a rebellion going on in a relatively closed society. Both the rebels and the government have access to twitter. You’ve got an account, and you want to help the rebels. Is there anything you can do that’s actually useful, if the government is reasonably competent at administering its own networks?

    #280676

    Hael
    Member

    I hate twitter too and all that it represents (see my avatar) BUT hey, if using twitter can help oust one maniacal leader who openly wishes for the destruction of Israel for another maniacal leader who privately wishes for the destruction of Israel, then TWEET TWEET! Viva La Revolution.

    #280677

    Jim Lauwers
    Participant

    Short answer: No.
    Longer answer: No, not with those tools. The best you could do is have a trusted person (or cell of people) texting you updates that you then post to twitter. Since the gov’t doesn’t have access to Twitter’s logs (I’m assuming), they won’t be able to tie your account to your phone number and won’t know to block texts going to it/watch who’s texting you what. However, you can’t advertise that you’re doing this, or the government will do exactly what I just said. That means you’ve gone from the powerful Mob architecture to the slightly more frail trusted friend architecture. There are fewer people to step into place if a reporter gets shot, or sick, or drops their phone. And at that point, there’s no point in using twitter.

    The thing is, Twitter wasn’t designed for this. It has a single server in one geographic location, doesn’t encrypt communications, and relies on a protocol (SMS) that can be shut down without causing much trouble to the government. You’d want to use something with bulletproof hosting like wikileaks, preferably PGP encrypting the messages (or at the very least connecting with SSL/TLS), and probably tunneling through TOR or whatever open SOCKS proxy you can find.

    And all this is assuming that they don’t just cut off internet routing altogether, which they could theoretically do. You could maybe start bouncing stuff off satellites then if you were clever and had taken the time to build a rig beforehand, or if you lived close enough to a border you could perhaps get a wifi signal if you knew how to build a proper antenna and if you’re even allowed near the border. But at that point you could also send up weather balloons or messages in bottles. Anyway, Twitter probably wouldn’t be my first choice but then again I’m fat and sitting in a chair in an air conditioned office.

    I’m pretty tired, hope that made sense.

    #280678

    Roland
    Participant

    Bear wrote >>
    So, just out of curiosity — and, thinking forward (perhaps) to future situations like this one… what do you guys think might be useful?
    Let me pose the question this way. You’ve got all the time in the world to reflect on it. There’s a rebellion going on in a relatively closed society. Both the rebels and the government have access to twitter. You’ve got an account, and you want to help the rebels. Is there anything you can do that’s actually useful, if the government is reasonably competent at administering its own networks?

    People could open a proxy service for these those trying to post to Twitter.

    This like a pass-through or hop between Sender A and Twitter. Sender A routes traffic to a proxy and the proxy then connects to Twitter, passing the results along to Sender A. If a net admin is blocking all traffic to Twitter, this would provide an option given that the connection to the proxy was not also blocked.

    #280679

    SusanB
    Participant

    This from Slog:

    Posted by Jonathan Golob on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    After changing your Twitter settings, consider set up a censor-defying proxy server.

    A proxy server is a way to get around some of the simpler, but effective, internet censoring techniques. If the Iranian government is forcing their internet service providers to block direct access to twitter, by setting up a proxy server on your computer here in the US that can access twitter, an Iranian protester could connect to your computer instead (getting around the censoring) and then to twitter.

    There is a constant need for new proxies, as the sensors can go around and cut off access to each new one that pops up.

    The Austin Heap blog has directions for setting up a proxy on Redhat/Fedora Linux or Windows at http://blog.austinheap.com/2009/06/15/how-to-setup-a-proxy-for-iran-citizens/ . (UPDATED: Here are directions for a Mac: http://blog.austinheap.com/2009/06/15/how-to-setup-a-proxy-for-iran-citizens-for-mac/)

    A heartbreaking comment from this blog tells you how important this is:

    i’m in tehran. i’ve been combing the net for the past 24 hrs trying to find some proxies that are still open with no luck. i’m the sales rep for a major canadian satellite networking equipment company and until yesterday had unfiltered internet over an illegal VSAT terminal that i was sharing with a bunch of people here. the client providing me with the terminal got scared and pulled the plug. we really do need these proxies to get free access to info – keeping in mind satellite tv signals are blocked by massive rf noise generated by goverment at great financial and health costs. only if those morons operating these noise stations knew what they’re doing to themselves…
    i’ll post the proxy addresses on some farsi sites for the people who really need them. sincere thanks to all of you, not only for the effective help you’re providing, but most importantly: for not looking the other way.

    If this doesn’t make a lick of sense to you, you probably aren’t the right person to be setting up a proxy. But, to the IT professionals who read slog: This is a way to use your nerdy skills for good.

    #280680

    honavery
    Member

    I have to say, I’m pretty impressed that Twitter has played such a big part in this whole thing. Talk about a game changer for them. And I don’t even use Twitter (tried several times, couldn’t get into it).

    #280681

    JonMyers
    Participant

    I was reading the Ted Blog and an interview with Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran. Really good stuff.

    http://blog.ted.com/2009/06/qa_with_clay_sh.php

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 45 total)

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