Iranians were surprised to have access to Facebook and Twitter for a very short window of time earlier this week. While Internet users in Iran can access the two social media sites surreptitiously, Iranian officials have implemented firewalls, making it difficult for people to gain entry. By Tuesday, however, Facebook and Twitter were blocked again. With fears of citizens using both sites to organize anti-government protests, the Iranian government blocked these sites in 2009.
Iranian officials claimed there was an error in unblocking both sites. But with a new president, Hassan Rouhani, who has said that he will address Internet censorship, there was speculation that this was not a glitch. And based upon the September 17th NYT article, several cabinet members under Rouhani have created Facebook and Twitter accounts, adding, “some of them [are] quite active.” Perhaps it wasn’t a glitch as claimed.
This also allows us to – once again – ask whether or not the Internet is a human right, something I have written about on several occasions (see here and here).
What do you think? Was it a fluke or not?