Mahsa is a DPhil student at the OII. Her research focuses on new communication technologies in Iranian politics.
Mahsa is an Internet researcher focusing on freedom of expression and access to information online in Iran. Combining political science, science and technology studies, data science, and security studies in her research that understands communications ecologies within Iran’s information control space.
Mahsa received an honours political science degree from the University of Toronto, and completed her Research Masters degree at the University of Amsterdam, working with the Digital Methods Initiative, and as a researcher with the DATACTIVE group. She’s been working on research, advocacy and projects on Iranian digital rights since 2012, and works with British freedom of expression NGO Article 19 on Iranian digital projects. She is also the Iran editor for the citizen media platform Global Voices.
Telegram; Social media; social movements; information controls; censorship; surveillance; MENA; Iran; digital activism.
Supervisors at the OII
‘A cyberattack should be expected’: U.S. strike on Iranian leader sparks fears of major digital disruption
3 January 2020 Washington Post
Iran’s cyber troops long have been among the world’s most capable and aggressive, disrupting banking, hacking oil companies, even trying to take control of a dam from afar, while typically stopping short of the most crippling possible actions, say experts
14 December 2019 Al Jazeera
From Kashmir to Iran, governments are turning off the internet to stop dissent. Plus, the murky world of deepfakes.
13 December 2019 The Telegraph
Pouya Bakhtiari could barely contain his excitement as he sat in gridlocked traffic on the motorway between Tehran and his home city of Karaj.
21 November 2019 Associated Press
Internet connectivity is trickling back in Iran after the government shut down access to the rest of the world for more than four days in response to unrest apparently triggered by a gasoline price hike.
19 November 2019 New York Times
The almost complete shutdown imposed over the weekend sets a new oppressive benchmark.
18 October 2019 Sky News
The arrest of a high-profile dissident and the seizure of his anti-government Telegram channel is a 'PR coup' for the regime.
12 June 2019 The Independent
Iran is to launch a text-messaging service to allow self-appointed guardians of morality in Tehran to turn in their neighbours or strangers for violating murky codes of public conduct, officials have said.
12 June 2019 What Bitcoin did
Latest panel debate from the OFF discussing the effects of the currency crisis on the Iranian internet and the effects of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin on internet access and use.
11 June 2019 Newsweek
Iran’s government is urging its citizens to use text messages to report on their neighbours or on strangers if they believe they are guilty of violating the country’s code of conduct.
20 December 2018 Motherboard
An Iranian academic says Slack banned him from the communication platform due to US sanctions. But the academic does not live in Iran; he’s in Canada.
9 November 2018 The Guardian
Jordan Erica Webber chats to the Iranian internet researcher Mahsa Alimardani about what we should be doing to rebuild trust in the internet.
When governments censor websites and block messaging apps like Telegram, here’s where to turn for proof
11 May 2018 CBC
Data collected by watchdog Open Observatory of Network Interference is helping hold governments to account.
18 April 2018 The Verge
Khamenei made the announcement on his Telegram channel
14 January 2018 BBC Click
Iran internet crackdown; commentary by Mahsa Alimardani.
10 January 2018 Newsweek
Iranian authorities shut down social media channels and disrupted internet access as protests against the government spread across the country over the past two weeks.
9 January 2018 Vice
Iranians hit the streets again today — on the sixth day of volatile protests that have quickly spread across the country.
9 January 2018 Vice Motherboard
Psiphon, a Toronto-born app, has seen a 1,650% increase in downloads.
8 January 2018 Wikitribune
Iran blocked the popular messaging app Telegram, which many Iranians use to communicate, during ongoing nationwide protests.
4 January 2018 CBC
Telegram is the platform of choice but protesters turn to backdoor software and private networks
3 January 2018 CBC: The Current
Images of the unrest in Iran have spread across the world in recent days, but what does it feel like to actually be there, in the chaos and violence on the streets?
2 January 2018 CBC: The National
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iran's enemies are to blame for the violence that has taken over the country.
2 January 2018 Channel 4
Across Iran, thousands of people have been on the streets of major cities again today.
1 January 2018 Vice Motherboard
Reports say mobile services like Telegram have been shut down as protests continue across the country.
1 January 2018 Politico Magazine
Never in history has a protest movement depended so much on one technological platform. Will the company use its power wisely?
27 December 2017 media.ccc.de
The Situation of Censorship and Surveillance in Iran, and What Should Be Done