from the al-gebra dept.
Joanna Paraszczuk reports that Iranian Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi says high speed internet is unethical and contrary to humanitarian principles adding that 3G and broadband internet are morally wrong, and that there need to be standards to prevent users from dangers such as “immoral and inhumane” videos and photos, rumors, and espionage. “It should not be assumed by some people that we are against these technologies. But the Western technology is like muddy and unsanitary water. Water is the lifeblood, but when it gets murky and unsanitary it must be purified,” says the ayatollah. The Grand Ayatollah’s comments come after one of Iran’s largest mobile operators, Irancell, announced this month that it would test 3G services to universities and government offices, and after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said earlier this year that Iran should upgrade its internet services.
Iranian President Rouhani insists the internet is crucial to connect with the world of science, saying: "We cannot close the gates of the world to our younger generation. If we do not move towards the new generation of mobile today and resist it, we will have to do it tomorrow. If not, the day after tomorrow." BBC Middle East analyst Sebastian Usher says President Rouhani's comments will resonate in Iran, but it is unclear if they will carry any real weight. Iran's government cracked down on media freedom and internet access after widespread protests against the country's leaders in 2009, banning online services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Since then, many Iranians have grown used to bypassing censorship controls by using proxy servers or other online tools.