Iran has chosen to isolate itself in the cyberspace. While we live in a time where social networks and other online services have truly made the world a global village the country has banned most of these services on various grounds, though primarily it believes they’re used to spread the West’s agenda. Despite the fact that Iran’s President and Supreme Leader both have an account, a court has ordered that Instagram be blocked due to “privacy concerns.”
The order stemmed from a private lawsuit which was then sent to the country’s Ministry of Telecommunications to enforce the ban. Even though the order had been passed users could access the service through the weekend. Iran’s tech savvy youth already uses VPNs, proxy servers and other methods to bypass internet restrictions, so its likely they’ll be nonplussed if the ban is enforced.
Twitter and YouTube are already banned in Iran and so is Facebook. Recently the country also banned WhatsApp, which will soon be owned by the social giant. The photo sharing service is also a part of Facebook’s portfolio and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg was recently referred to as an “American Zionist.”
Iran’s enforces these bans rather inconsistently. The country’s foreign minister is an avid Twitter user and so is the moderate President who recently told the state news agency that “We should see the cyberworld as an opportunity.” Even if he views this differently it is unlikely that the country will be opening up to the internet any time soon.