Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 25, 2020—As the Iranian Resistance prepared to hold its biggest online rally on Friday, July 17, the Iranian regime engaged in a widespread and preplanned cyberattack to prevent the event from getting wide coverage. The event, “Free Iran Global Summit 2020,” which was held through a video conferencing platform, included participants from 30,000 locations and 102 countries, featured speeches by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and dozens of dignitaries from across the globe.
The regime’s coordinated attack targeted several websites, including Mojahedin.org and iranntv.com, the website of the Iranian Resistance’s national television, both of which were livestreaming the event. In addition to direct attacks to the websites of the Iranian Resistance, the Iranian regime tried to hack a web service provider to redirect queries to MEK’s websites to other locations.
These attacks happen in tandem with another concerted effort by Tehran to spread disinformation and false allegations against the MEK through foreign media and its paid agents in various countries.
But despite the regime’s efforts, the Free Iran online event was widely viewed and discussed on the internet. According to a Google report, during the event, there was a 1,000% increase in search about the MEK in Farsi and English, which attests to the regime’s failure to shut down the voice of freedom and democracy in Iran.
Regardless of its failure, the Iranian regime’s efforts to disrupt the rally of MEK supporters only proves that the regime views this organization as its main threat, and where it can’t directly kill Iranian opposition members, it resorts to any other means at its disposal to censor their voice and message for freedom in Iran.
The Iranian regime has a long history of Internet censorship and cyberterrorism. During the November 2019 protests, which shook the very foundations of the mullahs’ rule in Iran, the regime shut down internet access for several days to prevent news of the protests from reaching the Iranian opposition and foreign media.
Update: It has now been 24 hours since #Iran implemented a near-total internet shutdown following hours of partial blackouts amid widespread protests.— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) November 17, 2019
The ongoing disruption constitutes a severe violation of the basic rights and liberties of Iranians⏱
Meanwhile, the regime is spending hefty amounts to acquire and develop online spying technology to keep tabs on the increasingly restive population and especially to identify and arrest supporters of the MEK.