The so-called Internet in a suitcase -- a State Department-funded project to sneak stealth satellite Internet capacity to dissidents in autocratic states -- has drawn the attention of the Iranian regime.
The Islamic Republic's powerful Revolutionary Guards denounced the project in the most recent issue of "Sobhe Sadegh," its weekly publication, and suggested Iran should hire "revolutionary hackers" to combat it, according to a report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a sister agency to the U.S. government's foreign broadcasting service Voice of America.
"Accessing information is the main and most important method used by the enemies of the establishment," the elite military unit and powerful economic interest said, according to the RFE/RL translation. "This issue is of such importance that the enemies of the Islamic republic are ready, in order to access the information they need, to abuse information and help the spread of false information that is in line with their aims, to invest heavily in this area, and carry out costly projects."
Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has said Iran has methods to counter the Internet in a suitcase, but he has not explained what those methods are, the U.S. news agency said.
The Internet in a suitcase was one of several stealth technologies profiled in a New York Times article earlier this month aimed at empowering dissident movements through technology. Analysts have said the technology could be effective at circumventing government attempts to censor the Internet or shut it down entirely during crises, but it would be less effective at organizing protests internally or supporting long-term protest movements.