The New York Times periodically delights and shocks me with the totalitarian antics of those wacky Iranian mullahs. They give theocracy a very bad name by creating a particularly bad form of it. The paper did it again today with a story (Iran Jails More Journalists and Blocks Web Sites) about the jailing of journalists and closing of hundreds of Iranian internet sites and blogs which advocate democracy.
Jonathan Swift, the greatest literary satirist who ever lived, would’ve adored this statement from those guardians of all decency:
"The judiciary is drafting a law that will define cybercrimes. The chief of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, has said the law will define the punishment for ‘anyone who disseminates information aimed at disturbing the public mind through computer systems.’"
"Disturbing the public mind through computer systems." Hmmm. I can’t think of a much better definition of what good blogs should do, can you?
For the latest on this situation read this article at Reporters Without Borders. Central Asian & Southern Caucasian Freedom of Expression Network published the Human Rights Watch press release which gives quite a bit of detail about this Iranian internet/free press crisis.