Iran is bound to traditions and customs because it has an anti-secular, religious governing system. This moralistic culture has a crucial role in shaping society.
In an Islamic country whose objective is conspicuously based on enforcing ethics and religious viewpoints, filtering is a predictable phenomenon. For two decades a major part of the country's budget has undoubtedly been spent on buying defensive and mind-monitoring facilities to detect the linkage of ideas.
Therefore filtering is nothing strange in this environment. Filtering the web is a completely legitimate way to preserve public decency and avert harms to our children from encounters with foreign cultures and so on.
But the majority of Iranians on the Interent use this medium to chat or look at pictures of celebrities. This fascination stems from a lack of practice in exchanging of views (dialogue) and leaving minds of the younger generation unchallenged. In this particular case, monitoring by the government can be of great value.
But the government should utilize more appropriate and creative methods. It should appreciate Iran-based websites alongside the above approach .There are definitely many cultural and artistic sites that can provide an enjoyable and beneficial atmosphere for those same juveniles searching for pornographic images online.
However, the issue of filtering in Iran goes beyong children and the danger of pornography. The important matter is the harm done to many individuals, particularly researchers.
Why are some news and cultural websites, as well as community sites like Orkut.com, blocked? Is filtering compatible with human rights? Filtering encompasses all individuals. It blocks the researcher as well as the casual internet surfer. This is not a fair formula.
At the present time if a doctor or an ordinary person seeks some information about intestinal diseases or pregnancy, he will face a striking problem since gaining access to the site of a particular university’s medical library is considered against national security.
Even artists can not visit one of the largest representational art sites. What they will confront is a yellow triangle and the word “Denied”.
Or if we look for some information about a particular author whose book is named “Naked Night”, undoubtedly we have sought something against morality and law.
Perhaps such things seem mundane and trivial. But in Iran these are high walls surrounding the unlimited and dynamic world of information. It is as if we are in a small room where the windows are covered.
Have a little respect for people. Think of the nation’s cultural and intellectual development.
Thanks to Sanaz Mohadesi fot translating this article.