Iran's President-Elect: Net Filtering Doesn't Work... Oh, And By The Way, Human Rights Are Universal

from the he-said-what??? dept

In the past, Iran has provided plenty of light relief here on Techdirt, whether because of plans to build its own Internet, or thanks to weird stuff like this. But it looks like those days are over following the election of a surprisingly-moderate President, Hassan Rouhani. Here, for example, are his thoughts on Net filters, as reported by The Guardian:

"Supporters of internet filtering should explain whether they've successfully restricted access to information? Which important piece of news has filtering been able to black out in recent years?"

He added: "Filtering has not even stopped people from accessing unethical [a reference to pornographic] websites. Widespread online filtering will only increase distrust between people and the state."
That's a pretty remarkable statement, since it comes from a nation that has tried to impose Net censorship more rigorously than most. It's also important, because it underlines why Western countries that keep flirting with the idea of introducing Net filtering are simply wasting their time. Rouhani has some other points that Western leaders would do well to remember:
"Injustice is an injustice...it's a double standard to call an injustice in an unfriendly country as an injustice but to label the same thing in a friendly country as not...human rights is same in any place around the world."
It's early days yet, and it remains to be seen whether the new President will be able to push through reforms in the face of conservative resistance in Iran. But it certainly looks like we might be seeing some interesting stories coming out of Iran soon, even if they are not so amusing as those Techdirt has carried in the past.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and on Google+

Filed Under: civil liberties, free speech, hassan rouhani, internet filtering, iran


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jul 2013 @ 1:41pm

    it remains to be seen what this man's mettle is but one of the biggest problems apparently with all governments is they will not and do not listen to the people! they seem to completely ignore the fact that they were elected into their present positions by the people and if the people dont think they are doing a good enough job or are doing the wrong things, supporting the wrong causes, the people have the right to have the governments removed from office. what seems to be happening everywhere is that as soon as a person is elected leader, everything else goes out the window and the only thing of any importance is remaining in that position. this is what seems to be happening in Egypt atm. it has happened in other countries recently too, like Portugal, Spain, Greece. the people call for change and perhaps resignations but the answer is always given by employing force. this results in things getting truly out of hand and the obvious consequences usually mean more bloodshed rather than common sense dialogue! how stupid and greedy some humans are!!

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.