French satellite giant Eutelsat has claimed that two of its satellites are being jammed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Eutelsat is among the largest satellite providers in the world and broadcasts thousands of television and radio stations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In a statement released Friday (opens in new tab) (October 7), Eutelsat claims that it has “experienced interference on two of its satellites” and that this interference “originated from Iran”. Typically, this is accomplished by bombarding a satellite and/or its receivers with noise at the same radio frequency as its intended transmissions.
These satellites are used to broadcast Persian language TV and radio news stations outside Iran. The claim comes as widespread protests enter their third week following the death of an Iranian-Kurdish woman who was arrested by Iran’s morality police.
Related: Elon Musk says Russia is stepping up cyberattacks on SpaceX’s Starlink systems in Ukraine
In the statement, Eutelset claims that the interfering signals are “damagingly affecting the transmission of many digital TV and radio channels broadcasting in Persian outside Iran, as well as other channels.” After conducting an independent analysis using a “specially designed interference detection system”, Eutelsat is convinced that the interference signals are originating from Iran, according to the statement.
Eutelsat then “immediately notified the relevant authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran” to demand an “immediate and permanent cessation of interference operations”. According to the statement, Eutelsat informed the Iranian authorities that this type of intentional interference is expressly prohibited by the ITU. You can find the ITU definitions of interference and interference as well as the regulations related to them on the agency’s website (opens in new tab).
Protests across Iran continue following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in police custody after being arrested for being “inappropriately dressed”. according to the Washington Post (opens in new tab). Amini’s death led to widespread protests against Iran’s hardline morality laws, prompting a government crackdown that led to increased censorship of social media and other digital communications.
Following the crackdowns, many public figures have expressed support for increasing internet freedoms and the free flow of information in Iran. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken he tweeted on September 23 (opens in new tab) that the United States government has taken steps to give Iranians “greater access to digital communications to counter Iranian government censorship.”
In response to Blinken, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk he tweeted (opens in new tab) that it was “Enabling Starlink,” apparently means SpaceX was trying to boost Iranian internet access in response to government crackdowns. (Starlink has provided similar services in Ukraine During the ongoing Russian invasion). none of which are currently available (opens in new tab) to the Iranians.
Eutelsat says it is working “around the clock” to fix the problem and mitigate the impact of the outage.
Follow Brett on Twitter at @brettingley (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or up Facebook (opens in new tab).