70% of Iranian internet users bypass government web restrictions

11 Sep 2014

A study conducted by Iran’s Centre for Research and Strategic Studies has found that more than two-thirds of the country’s young people regularly use the internet. The centre’s director, Mohammad Taqi Hassanzadeh, stated: ‘Of the 67.4% of Iranian young people who use the internet, 19.1% use the net for chatting, 15.3% for the social media, 15.2% for games and fun-surfing, and 10.4% use the World Wide Web for scientific researches.’ Almost 70% of the survey respondents, who were aged between 15 and 29, said they used software which allowed them to bypass government filters designed to block access to sites such as FaceBook and YouTube.

The Iranian government is making moves to make the internet more accessible to the general public, recently lifting a restriction which capped home internet speeds at 128kbps while also awarding 3G licences to Iran’s two dominant cellular operators, MCI and MTN Irancell. Nevertheless, many popular social media sites remain outlawed and the state is pushing ahead with its national intranet project which aims to create a closed network of approved websites.

Iran