Is Iran blocking international news broadcasts to the Middle East?

is iran blocking international news broadcasts to the middle east satelliteMultiple international news organizations are complaining about what they claim is the deliberate jamming of television and radio news broadcasts inside the Middle East, with at least one organization naming Iran as being responsible for the blockage.

Organizations including the BBC, German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle and Voice of America have reported that satellite signals across the Middle East and parts of Europe are being jammed, in what is being termed a “blatant violation of international regulations.” The jamming of signals from multiple broadcasters was confirmed earlier this week by Eutelsat, a French-based satellite provider responsible for the broadcasting of the jammed channels, which reported that the “deliberate and intermittent interference that began earlier this week” originated from Syria.

The BBC issued a statement yesterday about the jamming, saying that “The BBC, together with a number of other broadcasters, is experiencing deliberate, intermittent interference to its transmissions to audiences in Europe and the Middle East. Impacted services include the BBC World News and BBC Arabic television channels and BBC World Service radio services in English and Arabic. Deliberate interference such as the jamming of transmissions is a blatant violation of international regulations concerning the use of satellites and we strongly condemn any practice designed to disrupt audiences’ free access to news and information.”

While the BBC refrained from identifying Iran as the source of the signals, Deutsche Welle director general Erik Betterman didn’t hold back, not only naming Iran as the source, but going on to say that the jamming was an act of censorship by the Iranian government, going on to say that his channel would join with others to issue a protest resolution.

It’s not entirely clear how the signals are being jammed, but one suggestion is that the Syrian source is transmitting another signal on the same frequency as the jammed programming, aimed directly at the Eutelsat satellite sending the original programming. Such a move would essentially made the original signal unavailable to all viewers.

Perhaps not coincidentally, on Monday of this week, Eutelsat dropped nineteen Iranian state television channels from its “Hotbird” service. The move was made following not only the blocking of news programming, but also the European Union tightening its sanctions against Iran in response to the country’s nuclear program (Reportedly, the French broadcasting authority also asked the satellite company to consider dropping one particular channel from the line-up, “Sahar 1 TV”). Amongst the channels dropped was the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s own international news channel, Press TV. At the time, Iran officially protested the decision, describing it as a way of “prevent[ing] a dissenting voice to the broadcasting of Western thinking,” and adding that “the Islamist Republic reserves the right to take legal action against these measures.”


Smart Home

Innit showcases new solutions for LG’s Signature Kitchen Suite at KBIS 2019

LG Electronics has equipped its new Signature Kitchen Suite devices with a host of technologies and guests of KBIS 2019 can check out the company's new innovations from Innit, including new adaptive cook programs.

The best new music this week: Robert Ellis, Golden Daze, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Brand-new music from Robert Ellis, Broken Social Scene, and Golden Daze.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!

Marriott asking guests for data to see if they were victims of the Starwood hack

Marriott has created an online form to help you find out if your data was stolen in the massive Starwood hack that came to light toward the end of 2018. But take note, it requires you to submit a bunch of personal details.

New Chrome feature aimed at preventing websites from blocking Incognito Mode

A new Chrome feature will prevent websites from blocking Chrome users as they browse using Incognito Mode. The feature is supposed to fix a known loophole that allows websites to detect and block those using Incognito Mode.

Microsoft extension adds Google Chrome support for Windows Timeline

The Windows Timeline feature is now much more versatile thanks to the added support for Google's Chrome browser. All you need to do to increase its functionality is to download the official Chrome extension.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.

YouTube changes its strikes system, offers softer first-offense penalty

YouTube announced changes to its strikes system for its content creators. The changes include a softer first-offense penalty for creators who violate YouTube's guidelines and more consistent penalties for further violations.

An experimental feature could help reduce memory usage in Google Chrome

Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser, but it also is a resource hog. Google is currently working on an experimental feature for Chrome which sets out to reduce its overall memory usage. 

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or OS.