"More than a million people" used Radio Farda's proxy server in July (updated).

Posted: 27 Aug 2010   Print   Send a link
RFE/RL press release, 23 August 2010: "More than a million people inside Iran circumvented aggressive censorship and logged on to RFE/RL's Persian-language website in July through a proxy server, a system ensuring the anonymity of its users. It was the first time Radio Farda's proxy server recorded a million visits since it was put in place in April 2009. In addition, the site received 40,000 visits on Sunday, August 15 - a record high for a day without breaking news. ... In total (the proxy server plus regular web traffic), Radio Farda's website drew more than 4.3 million visits last month. Users viewed nearly 13 million web pages and downloaded more than a million hours of audio programming." -- By "people," I assume this means unique visitors, all of whom might not be so unique, given the imperfections of web metrics. I'm guessing the proxy server frequently changes URLs. How do Iranians keep up with the URLs? Is anti-censorship software involved?

Update: Radio World, 26 August 2010, Leslie Stimson: "We’ve been reporting for years how U.S. international broadcasters, like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty — as well as other similar broadcasters worldwide, like the BBC World Service and Radio Netherlands — are putting more of their distribution resources into Internet, television and FM, and less on shortwave as more of their audience migrates to these newer distribution methods. The transition has been contentious, with some critics saying the Broadcasting Board of Governors has cut its shortwave resources too deeply. Despite newer audience avenues, some things, like censorship, are still around. When I worked as an on-air journalist at VOA in the mid-’80s on a program that delivered news and entertainment to Haiti, the Russians frequently tried to jam our shortwave frequencies. (And what a cat and mouse game that was. On-air and technical operations personnel wouldn’t know until right before the program aired each day what frequency we’d be using; that mattered, to get the control room and studio in-sync.)" -- I don't remember any Soviet jamming of VOA broadcasts to Haiti. Radio Moscow, transmitting on many frequencies, would often cause incidental interference to VOA broadcasts. And I don't know what the transmitting frequency would have to do with getting the "control room and studio in-sync."