Couple one of the most cyber-active nations with one of the world’s most zealous state authorities and the result is startling, yet not altogether surprising:
A trusted colleague – who is married to an Iranian-American and would thus prefer to stay anonymous – has told me of a very disturbing episode that happened to her friend, another Iranian-American, as she was flying to Iran last week. On passing through the immigration control at the airport in Tehran, she was asked by the officers if she has a Facebook account. When she said “no”, the officers pulled up a laptop and searched for her name on Facebook. They found her account and noted down the names of her Facebook friends. [Source]
Facebook is at once both the über-social network and a mega-mine for authorities such as those in Iran.
Scroll down to the commenteers on the article and the worn out litany of “if you don’t want to be found, don’t put it up” are reproduced.
One could yarn on about freedom of expression, but it is equally well-known that in the current political climate, such arguments fall idle by.
It is, ultimately, a calculated risk.
But when that risk works out as it is currently doing according to the above account, it is downright chilling.