Iran increases state internet funding, tightens restrictions

Raisi’s government has allocated millions of dollars to advance Iran’s national internet infrastructure in an attempt to tighten control over the flow of information and curb the influence of outside media.

The new budget is part of a broader allocation for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, which increased by 25% from the previous year to a total of more than 195,830 billion rials (approximately US$300 million).

The government’s fiscal strategy also includes more than 150 trillion rials (over $220 million) in miscellaneous credits, a large part of which is aimed at expanding the scope of the national information network. The move underscores the continued push for a more insular and state-controlled digital environment despite growing criticism at home and abroad.

Platforms such as Instagram, X, Facebook, Telegram and others are inaccessible in Iran due to government filtering policies, leaving millions of people unable to work and many small businesses relying on social networks, especially in remote rural areas and women-run businesses.

Documents from the Information Technology Organization show that the ministry is stepping up efforts to isolate and minimize the dependence of national information networks on the global Internet to intensify the crackdown. The shift comes as major cloud provider Cloudflare has noticed a steady decline in internet traffic from Iran over the past two years, pointing to increasing network isolation.

Compounding the situation, widespread internet outages plagued consumers and businesses, sparking discontent across the country. The Tehran Chamber of Commerce recently called on the government to reassess its approach to internet policy, highlighting the negative impact of current practices on the business community and the wider economy.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *