Watchdog denounces Iranian bill to further restrict internet
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) expresses concern at reports that an Iranian internet bill, seen as part of a campaign to create a closed national network, is advancing in parliament.
“Instead of having more control over what journalists and citizens can do online, Iranian lawmakers should find ways to promote the free flow of information,” the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator said. CPJ, Sherif Mansour, in a statement. declaration November 1.
“All of society suffers when obstacles to free access to the Internet prevent journalists from doing their jobs,” he added.
The legislation in question was under consideration by a parliamentary subcommittee last month and is moving forward, with the proposed legislation due for ratification in early 2022, according to media reports.
A bill released in July would strengthen the government’s legal authority to block websites and platforms run by foreign tech companies without a local representative in Iran.
It would also require people to register with ID to access the Internet, and would criminalize the production, sale, and distribution of virtual private networks (VPNs), which people can use to bypass government restrictions on the Internet. Web.
International social media platforms are already blocked in Iran, and journalists and others rely on VPNs to access services such as Telegram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Of the 15 journalists behind bars in CPJ’s annual census of jailed journalists released in December, several were jailed for posting on social media.
A site hosted in Iran petition asking the government “not to create new barriers” to the Internet has so far collected more than 1.1 million signatures.