Eutelsat Says Satellite Jammers Within Iran are Disrupting Foreign Channels

Jamming signals have been disrupting two Eutelsat satellites in a geostationary orbit, which provides foreign broadcasts to the people inside the country. These signals have been traced to originating in Iran, itself. These specific satellites were targeted because they are the only channels which broadcast in Farsi but are located overseas, so they’re not subject to regulations from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

This is following weeks of protests after an Iranian woman was killed in police custody. The Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is saying these protests are part of a foreign plot to destabilize the country. Jamming these signals is prohibiting the Iranian people from getting news not controlled by this government. Eutelsat has notified the Islamic Republic of Iran as this is specifically prohibited in the International Telecommunications Union.

This demonstrated how important space cybersecurity is for the common citizen. I usually think of space cybersecurity being important to warfighters and government officials in contexts such as communications for battlespace awareness or communications. If a country has total control of what news comes in and out of the country, they have control over the information that reaches their citizens. They cannot see how successful or not their protests are so could get easily discouraged and give up. They can also become unaware of foreign support leading to a misunderstanding of the resources they can leverage. All of these give the Iranian government the upper hand.