The Syrian government has placed a ban on all iPhones in the county to try and prevent footage of the trouble being uploaded to the web via sites like YouTube. This type of control has been used quite a bit in the past to try and control troubles as citizen journalism increases, with the exception being that it was wireless communications and the Internet that are blocked, like in Egypt, Libya, China, and the US. BART in the US have just passed a controversial cellphone blackout policy banning wireless communication during times of unrest.
The ban only currently effects the iPhone (not model specific), but not other smartphones which is curious? Modern smartphones have moved on from being simply a device on which to talk to people and have become powerful tools in which to communicate in various ways including the ability to record high quality video footage.
Via yesterdays Sky news article:
A document apparently issued by the Syrian Ministry of Finance said: “The use of the iPhone must be prohibited due to the forbidden features that have been banned by the general telecommunications company.
“This is a legal ruling and iPhones will be seized.”
The order does not detail what the nature of the “forbidden features” that have offended the Syrian government.
The regime has imposed an effective media blackout on reporting of the eight-month uprising against its rule and the subsequent violence, which is believed to have left more than 4,000 people dead.
I can only assume that the forbidden features that they are talking about is the ability to record video high quality footage and upload it straight away? People will always find a way to communicate with each other no matter what their government do to prevent it and letting the rest of the world know what is happening.
YouTube user 108morris108 has posted a great interview with Thierry Meyssan in the comments below, who is a well respected journalist and published writer and founder of the Voltaire Network. The interview gives a very fresh insight as to what is going on in Syria at the moment compared to what most western media is portraying. I can only gather that the reason the western media are assessing the current situation as to what it is, is due to the media blackout currently in force, which may be leading to speculation.