The head of police in Iran has warned the opposition that their mobile calls and e-mails are being monitored. He says incitement to rally is worse than actual demonstration and must be punished even harder.
In a strange announcement that was reported on BBC, the Iranian chief of police warned members of the 'green' opposition - those who call for a revolution and the dismantling of the present hierarchy - to refrain form using e-mail, SMS and other Internet services in order to incite others or to call for demonstrations and rallies.
Given the fact that all individuals intelligent and savvy enough to use those technologies - be it in Iran, China or other countries are usually aware of being monitored - this warning can only be seen as admitting to that the government is not in full control of it, as an admittance of fear.
Chief Ahmadi Moghaddam even mentioned that the use of proxies won't help to avoid detection and capture. Here are his exact words:
"These people should know where they are sending the SMS and e-mail as these systems are under control. They should not think using proxies will prevent their identification," and he added that anyone issuing appeals or helping to disseminate plans by the opposition will "have committed a worse crime than those who come to the streets".
If it were true what he said, it would surely be wiser to keep it as secret as possible, like it is being done in Western countries. Governments record every communication - except for postal doves - read, listen, view whatever they like. In the US, the president can even shut down the public Internet at the proverbial "push of a button".