Most of the recent efforts undertaken by the Iranian government, within the domain of internet and web, have been limited to finding newer ways to curb citizens’ access to online services. Towing the same line, the Iranian authorities are now developing an ‘intelligent software’ which would provide citizens a carefully controlled access to social networks.
It must be noted here that in the past, Iranian citizens have taken to social media to express their dissent over alleged rigging of elections and other issues. Clearly, the Iranian regime does not like the notion of users expressing their freedom of speech online and now plans to actively control it.
Naturally, the government is wrapping the package in crafy wording. According to the chief of Iran’s national police, “Smart control of social networks will not only avoid their disadvantages, but will also allow people to benefit from their useful aspects.” He further said that, “the designing of intelligent software to control social networking Web sites” is under way and that “smart control of social networks is better than filtering them completely.”
It certainly is better than filtering them, but it would’ve done the users a lot more good had the government revealed why exactly it wants to filter selective content and what kind of ‘disadvantageous’ content that would be.
Even before this ‘intelligent’ solution gets implemented, Iranians are not able to gain access to all internet services and most of them have to rely on proxy sites and servers to outwit government curbs. Once the government starts putting curbs on the social media, it seems that Iranians will have to get into the habit of opening a few more websites through proxy servers.