The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran has been trying to follow the Chinese government’s path of controlling blogs and web sites. Owners of blogs and sites have been asked to register their web site or blog within two months. At the time of registering, private information such as name, family name, and identity card and telephone numbers will be recorded as well. Besides strong opposition from bloggers, who made fun of the new law, government soon came to the realization that it is impossible to make people register hundred of thousands of blogs. The Iranian government announced that the regulation requiring websites (including blogs) to register no longer applies to sub-domains. This means a great number of blogs do not have to register, but there are still a number of blogs with their own domains.
Let's look at how some bloggers reacted to this law:
Nikahang, a leading cartoonist, blogger and journalist, has summed up many people's feelings in a cartoon. The English translation of the Persian caption is “where is your permission or license?”
Cyrusonline gives a chronology of filtering and increasing censorship in last year. The blogger says we are asked to register our identity and all private information on this site, but it seems this site’s server is situated in USA. The blogger adds all personal information of Iranian people will be at disposition of foreign countries[Fa].
Jomhour makes the point that, contrary to democratic countries, dictatorships impose the laws to control citizens [Fa] and these laws are to protect State’s advantages rather than citizens’ rights. The blogger adds:
we should see the reaction of the bloggers. Probably a small number of bloggers who are pro government will welcome this law but the most of independent bloggers will stay indifferent or protest against it.
Shirazi reports that the Ministy of Culture and Islamic Guidance’s site was hacked. The blogger says this Ministry can not protect its own site and its servers are in USA and China. Then the blogger adds that “we do not know that our information will be protected.”[Fa]
Khorshid Khanoum says that some people have asked why she has not offered a reaction to the new law. She employs a popular Persian expression that says “the best answer to stupid people (ie the ones who created the law) is silence [Fa]. She asks: “if they want they continue to filter us as they have already done and will do, why should we bother to go register our blog?”
Mohammad Abthai, the reformist politician, believes that this law can not be applied due to the nature of internet [Fa], adding that even if they manage to apply it, it will target only bloggers insider the country. According to Mohammad Abthai, a blog is a personal dairy, and even if could be classified as part of the media, to control it government would need a law.