Iran produces a wealth of homegrown popular movies, music andliterature. Iranian popular culture thrives under the watchful eyes ofgovernment censors — in part by creatively pushing the boundaries ofwhat is permissible, and in part by using the Internet and technology to avoid those limitsaltogether. Worldfocus correspondent Bigan Saliani and producer Richard O’Regan report.
In the asymmetric wars that have characterized the post-9/11 conflict horizon, our adversaries have been unable to challenge U.S. control of the skies. Now used primarily for close air support and the hauling of gear and supplies for ground troops, the U.S. Air Force has been left to wonder whether its pilots will ever again be called upon to perform their most prestigious of missions — air-to-air combat. As a result, the Air Force has been actively looking for new missions. It has bought hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), machines that have proven invaluable to ground forces fighting in […]
In general, practitioners of international politics, and those charged with developing and executing governments’ foreign policies, have certain expectations regarding the behavior of the states comprising the international system. Indeed, these expectations reflect both rules commonly observed by state governments — if all too often in the breach — as well as a common understanding of the prerogatives that obtain to governments, as opposed to individuals and others not disposed of governmental authority. But do these expectations still hold and, if so, are they realistic today? Is modern information technology, and the global information infrastructure it enables, changing what we […]
The Internet made a major contribution to global society by disrupting the regulation of media content by nation-states. It took the libertarian principle of “absence of prior restraint” and globalized it: No one had to ask for permission, or be licensed, to make their ideas and publications globally accessible. This open access, sometimes praised as “network neutrality” or the “end to end principle,” took states by surprise. The explosion of ideas, services and expression associated with the Internet’s growth in the mid-1990s happened because states weren’t prepared for it and because states weren’t in charge. Yet even if we accept […]
On June 20, 2009, as she watched demonstrators at an Iranian reformist protest gather on Tehran’s Kargar Avenue, Neda Agha-Soltan, 27, was suddenly shot in the chest and killed, ostensibly by a nearby Basij militiaman. Had this tragic incident taken place just a few years earlier, it might have been lost to history. As it happened, however, two separate amateur videos of Neda’s shooting and subsequent death were quickly posted online, where they spread virally around the Internet. If bearded ayatollahs were the iconic image of Iran’s 1979 revolution, the tragic killing of this young Iranian woman has become the […]