Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
[Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admits that filtering the cyberspace in Iran has failed. And it has been the teenagers and youths who have paid the price for it.]
Hassan Rouhani: You give a cellphone to someone. And from the very beginning, you make it a forbidden tree for him. You tell him to go to this or that messenger, and not that one. This is heaven, this is hell. This is good, this is bad. He is a teenager or a young person. He says to himself, what is it that they tell me is very dangerous and I shouldn’t go to? We provoke him as such. We make him go and see what everyone is talking about. We have been unsuccessful in some of the measures we have taken during recent years. The problem was that we thought the internet is under our control, so we can order to filter it. If you filter it, then what are you going to do you do with anti-filtering? If you fight with that anti-filtering, what do you do when another anti-filtering comes? Then that would be all your life! What has happened after one year [of filtering Telegram messenger]? We all paid the price. First of all, our children paid the price. First of all, the teenagers and youths paid the price for it. Our youths didn’t use to go to such spaces. It had a framework. At that time, not everything was available in the messenger. Unfortunately, all the frameworks were broken. It means that with an incorrect measure and a wrong idea, we thought that someone – under any excuse and from any branch – could write on a piece of paper that this [messenger] should be banned and filtered. He would then announce it to the Telecommunication Organization. And Telecommunication Organization would give it to the next person out of fear. But today I think that it has become clear to us that this is not the solution. The solution is neither going to the extreme in using this space against people’s honor nor in saying unreal things in it. The solution is not in shutting down all the paths. None of these would work.
Source: Akharin Khabar – IRINN
Date of monitoring: 23/01/2019