The Iranian government struck again against free speech and open access to diverse viewpoints by blocking access to more than five million Internet websites which it charged were undermining the moral health of their society. An advisor to the attorney general said, “the enemies seek to assault our religious identity by exploiting the Internet.” Iran’s reformist press was virtually closed down in 2000 forcing many to turn to blogging in order to get across views the government did not wish to be known to the general public. The government Mehr news agency complained the Internet, “inflicts social, economic and moral damage which is worrying.” The Iranian government is concerned that women and supporters of female rights are accessing web sites which offer information about anti-feminine actions on its part.
The Iranian government will try over and over again to stifle voices of freedom, but it will not succeed. Satellite dishes are banned, but they are found all over Iran. The government can not block out foreign newscasts and its effort to stop the Internet is doomed to failure. Modern technology, in the long run, will out distance efforts to halt its access to people.