Reporting restrictions in Iran
Sometimes, it's the absurd that tells the real story. A cartoon by Peter Brookes in The Times today pictures Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei standing on a chair, afraid of a mouse - not a rodent, but the computer kind! It brought to mind Peter Ustinov's bon mot, "comedy is simply a funny way of being serious".
Earlier this week, the BBC and other international news organisations were banned from attending what Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance called "unauthorised gatherings".
Essentially, it means that we're supposed to only operate from our bureau and not to report from the streets. It was a disappointing development and one that means that we're now operating under formal "reporting restrictions".
While John Simpson and Jon Leyne are prevented from travelling to opposition rallies, and must seek permission to attend something like Friday prayers, there are no "minders" sitting on their shoulder with a red pen, deciding what they can and cannot say.
Such restrictions only have limited impact. Two thirds of Iranians are under 30, "tweeting" and "blogging" are second nature to them. While we've used Twitter for information on previous stories, such as the Hudson plane crash, it's the protest in Iran that has seen it become mainstream, providing real-time commentary on events in Tehran and elsewhere - events which we're banned from attending, but which we can follow "online".
Farsi is now the second most popular language on the web - members of the new generation in Iran are "wired" in a way their parents, who lived through the Iranian Revolution 30 years ago, could never have imagined. So while the authorities in Tehran are trying to limit just how much we can see and hear, technology opens a window on what's going on.
My colleague Steve Herrmann has written previously of the importance of verifying what we get from social media and of content supplied direct to the BBC by viewers, listeners and readers. At one stage earlier this week, BBC Persian was getting five pieces of video every minute; the challenge of authenticating what we receive is immense, but the value is even greater.
It's why the Ayatollah is probably right to be afraid of that mouse!
Jon Williams is the BBC World News Editor.