Conflicts over Internet filtering and citizen involvement online has once again reached the highest levels of power in Iran. The president, head of the judiciary, the prosecutor-general and a number of right-wing media outlets have openly addressed the situation, with most of the criticism aimed at President Hassan Rouhani.
The recent round of disagreement over the presence of Iranians online began May 17 during the National Communications and Information Technology Festival. Rouhani defended the Iranian people's online activity and criticized the harsh policies of imposing limitations on the Internet. "In this country, we recognize our citizens' right to connect to the World Wide Web," he said. "We do not actually come face-to-face with other people. Yet, the effects of cyberspace are quite visible on society and the country. It even influences people's lifestyle."