The popular “Tabnak” website, which is said to be close to the former head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai, has posted a link to a proxy server on its website for users to bypass Internet filtering in Iran. (According to media watchdog “Reporters Without Borders,” Iran is only second to China in the extent and sophistication of its web censorship.)
Internet censorship is apparently so widespread that in April a pro-Ahmadinejad website complained that a number of hard-line blogs have also been blocked.
In recent months, Iranian activists and supporters of the opposition Green Movement have increased their calls for Western countries to help Iranians access the Internet without censorship. Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi told RFE/RL in June that providing access to uncensored information supports Iranian activists without tainting them or giving the Iranian government an excuse to increase pressure on them.
"Giving the Iranian people the possibility to access a free flow of information is the best thing that can be done to help democracy in Iran," she said.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari