Sanctions & State Policies in Iran's Isolated Internet

This session is facilitated by Kaveh Azarhoosh, James Marchant

Show on schedule

About this session

We’ll start off the session by quickly running through a visual timeline of how the Internet in Iran has evolved over the ten years since 2009, and progress that Iran has made towards the localisation of data hosting and online services through the “National Information Network”.

Then, based on a recently published paper we’ll explain how global tech companies have stopped providing services en-masse to Iranian citizens – whether through compliance or over-compliance with sanctions – thereby pushing them onto insecure (and potentially surveillance-prone) domestic services, making data localisation a reality.

Then, to try and address some of these issues, we’ll launch our online petition platform demanding that companies stand up for the rights of Iranians, and speak out about the need for changes in sanctions to allow
Iranian citizens to access secure global services.

Goals of this session

We’re ten years on from Iran’s 2009 Green Movement, and the “Twitter Revolution” is an increasingly distant memory. This session will show how a mixture of tough global sanctions, disengaged tech companies, and ambitious state policies have led to the development of an increasingly isolated (and increasingly successful?) “National Information Network” in Iran.

Participants will leave the session with a stronger understanding of how the Iranian state’s design of the “National Information Network” has been boosted in part by global sanctions, as well as the decision of big global tech firms to disengage from Iran.

Slides available here

Sign up for monthly updates at