How can the power of the internet be harnessed for change in countries with strict censorship? The right talent and tools can facilitate the reporting of accurate news and information, promote public debate, connect communities, embolden women, and amplify voices otherwise unheard in Iran. On March 12, World Day Against Cyber Censorship, RFE/RL's Radio Farda was joined by representatives of the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Harvard's Berkman Klein Center at the SXSW digital festival to discuss the innovative digital tools that are helping them breaking through government censorship to connect with audiences in Iran.
“Radio Farda combats two firewalls imposed on the Iranian population by authorities: filtering and discourse. We provide uncensored news, objective analysis, and debates on different questions. We make unheard voices heard, such as repressed minorities, the workers' movement, jailed students, and political prisoners.”
Fred Petrossians, Online Editor in Chief, RFE/RL's Iran Service, Radio Farda
“There is a lack of knowledge among Iranian people about internet security. We need to ask the big companies to do more – they have a lot of resources and power. We are fighting for internet freedom with the government, not one single person. Of course we need more help.”
Amir Rashidi, Internet Security and Digital Rights Researcher, Center for Human Rights in Iran
“Users in Iran have been very tech savvy and nimble in terms of catching up with the latest practices and countering the strategies of the state. However, we need alternative systems for connectivity in an environment where there is such a huge monopoly over all the communication mediums. ”