Cameran Ashraf

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Cameran Ashraf is an Iranian-American digital activist and doctoral student at UCLA. His doctoral research focuses on the geographies of information, social movements, politics, and diaspora using Iran's recent post-election unrest as a case study.

Among other projects, he has worked on protest video distribution resulting in nearly 3 million video downloads from Iran. He is co-founder of Internet advocacy NGO and Expression Technologies, a non-profit organization working directly with activists in censored and repressive regimes.

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Latest posts by Cameran Ashraf

17 April 2013

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The Psychological Strains of Digital Activism

Iran's Green Movement marked one of the first large-scale movements where new media served as a platform for coordination and communication between activists and played a vital role in showing the world what was happening on the ground. The post offers a first-person narrative on this experience from Cameran Ashraf, an Iranian-American citizen living in the United States who helped facilitate communication and information exchange for activists and protesters during this period.

31 March 2011

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Understanding Iran's Cyberpolitical Context

Since I last posted, events on the ground and online in Iran have continued to escalate. This is broadly in line with my belief that the Iranian government has decided to engage in a long-term project to silence dissent online, using both state and non-state actors, as well as to...

29 January 2011

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Cyber “long war” continues in Iran

The past few weeks have seen attention focused on Tunisia and Egypt in hopes of understanding what role, if any, information and communications technologies (ICTs) are playing in the recent unrest in both countries. While experts and pundits continue to discuss and debate, Iran's efforts at silencing the Green Movement...

20 January 2011

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Iran's Cyber Police, Geography, and the Psychological Denial of Service

National Public Radio reports that Iran is planning on dispatching “cyber police” across the country with General Ahmadi Moghaddam stating that “There is no time to wait” in deploying the Islamic Republic's latest line of defense against its real and perceived enemies. This isn't the first time Moghaddam has claimed...

12 January 2011

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Iran: Blocking activity, email interception, and renewed pressure on the Green Movement

The Tor Project reports that the Iranian firewall is now blocking or throttling Tor,  a number of other circumvention tools as well as SSL.  They recommend using bridges that are not on port 443.  Below are several graphs from  the Tor Project demonstrating this: Within Iran there are further conflicting...