Iran's new Internet surveillance law would further exacerbate human rights violations in the country
Stockholm- Skyline International is deeply concerned and opposes the bill passed by the parliamentary committee to restrict and monitor #Internet services in Iran. It stresses that the implementation of this law will scale up violations of freedoms of opinion, speech and publication guaranteed under international law.
In a statement released today (Wednesday), Skyline says it is closely following news of the Iranian authorities' intention to restrict and monitor Internet service in the country. To this end, a bill is expected to pass through parliament that would allow the government to expand its influence over Internet services and to stop Internet activities and opposition websites as well as local social networks.
Skyline notes that if the bill is adopted, Internet technology companies will be required to follow the "instructions of the Iranian authorities" on Internet blocking. Adoption of the draft law will also likely result in blocking the activities of websites owned by foreign companies, forcing Iranian citizens to present their identity in the form of a "national ID card" to access the Internet, and making the use of VPNs a "crime."
The law, if implemented, will require local social networks to cooperate with the Iranian regime in the areas of censorship and education, especially as these authorities ban and restrict the use of a number of global social networks, including "Twitter," "Youtube," "Facebook," Telegram, and Signal.
Skyline indicates that if the draft law is implemented, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology will be required to identify users in cyberspace. Some estimates also indicate that the license to import and activate the mobile phone will be subject to installing internal messaging software on the imported phones.
Yesterday, Tuesday, 1. March, a group of human rights experts at the United Nations released a statement calling on the Iranian regime to halt recent moves to adopt a new Internet surveillance bill that would "isolate Iran from the international Internet community," warning: "This project is a disturbing measure to consolidate a digital wall in Iran and will make it more difficult to disseminate information in a country where freedom of expression and other fundamental rights are severely restricted, while at the same time it is a clear violation of citizens' rights to participate in cultural life and access cultural resources."
In this regard, Skyline stresses its opposition to the Iranian Parliament's adoption of the bill at a time when the country is suffering from deterioration and violation of human rights at various levels, particularly the persecution of opposition figures and activists on social media, escalating violence against women, arbitrary detention and torture in prisons, and others. It also stresses that under current law, Parliament is the main guarantor and defender of individual rights against violation by any party and must not serve as a means to deepen these violations.
Skyline concludes its statement by calling on the Iranian Parliament to reverse its newley draft law that would restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression in order to activate parliamentary monitoring and follow-up mechanisms against activists and opponents. The parliament should enact laws that protect the fundamental rights of individuals instead of imposing new restrictions on rights that are already restricted.