An AP report indicates that Iran is in the development process of building software designed to control access to social media within the country. This means that the government will ultimately dictate and approve access to Facebook, Twitter, and other similar networks, ostensibly under the guise of protecting the public from malicious content and allowing users to enjoy a government-controlled safe internet experience. These notions are of course laughable, but not entirely unexpected. Back in October, we reported on the Iranian government’s efforts to block YouTube and other Google services. Last month it was reported that Iran had launched their own ‘appropriate’ version of YouTube.
We’ve seen abuses by oppressive governments in the recent past, particularly in this region of the world. The Iranian government is perhaps the most active in its attempts to shut down access to social sites, and in particular has exercised a number of options to cut off Google. The same regime also announced plans some time ago that they were building a private internet that would filter through a master gateway – controlled of course by a newly created government agency. For safety of course. If anyone is buying this then they probably also believe Iran is building centrifuges for humble nuclear power ambitions, nothing military – even though the country is very oil-rich. Behind the public statements it should be obvious that the government’s goal here is to censor the internet, control any opposition messages, and limit the outside information that comes into the country.