Blogger Phillip Weiss says Iranians are starting to run out of available proxy servers and issued a plea for those who are "technically capable" to set up proxies for Iranians to use. In response, San Francisco-based blogger Austin Heap has posted a do-it-yourself guide on how to create a proxy.
Part of the reason Iranians are running out of proxies stems from activists outside Iran eager to lend a hand who post available proxies via Twitter. Twitter user manukaj warned that broadcasting this information on Twitter only helps Iranian officials block new proxies that much faster.
While some users are content to organize rallies and disseminate information online, others are using their technical prowess to launch a series of cyberattacks against Iranian government Web sites.
An anonymous user created a public document online meant to create worldwide, distributed denial-of-service attacks against Iranian government Web sites. The document lists as targets 43 different Web sites including state-controlled news agencies, government agency sites, and President Ahmadinejad's own Web site.
The intent of the DDoS attacks, according to the letter, is to "block Ahmadinjead's [sic] governments flow of information in many of its key components."
The document uses Page Reboot, an auto-refresh tool, as a vehicle for the attacks against Iranian Web sites. But the reaction was so overwhelming that Page Reboot had to shut down. In fact, the attacks may have put the site out of business. According to a landing page currently on the site, the traffic spike increased server costs to the point where the owner cannot afford to keep Page Reboot up and running.
YouTube and Flickr
Worldwide access to relatively inexpensive recording equipment has enabled a constant flow of still images and video to come out of Iran. Security officials within the Islamic Republic are reportedly forbidding foreign journalists to cover today's protests in Tehran. Meanwhile, Iran's citizens continue to record and upload images of the exuberance of protesters, as well as the brutality of Iranian security officials.
If you are interested in seeing some of the video coming out of Iran, check out the collection of YouTube videos on The Daily Dish run by blogger and new media critic Andrew Keen. Be warned, however, you may find these graphic images disturbing.
Is Web 2.0 telling the whole story?
By most reports, Iranian opposition supporters are young and educated, and are concentrated in urban areas and well versed in the ways of the Web. Supporters of President Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, are reportedly poorer and concentrated in rural areas.
Since Ahamdinejad's supporters are unlikely to have equal access to the Internet, the widespread use of social networks, and other Web tools, may only be showing one view of the election controversy. Regardless, this week's protests in Iran are an example of how hard it is becoming for oppressive governments to clamp down on a tech savvy population.
Using tools like Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, opposition supporters have been able to build their own narrative around the political turmoil despite attempts at government interference.
Connect with Ian Paul on Twitter http://twitter.com/ianpaul.