An internet cafe in Tehran.
Iran has an intense relationship with the internet. The country has made many attempts to curtail its citizens’ use of social media. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in May, issued a fatwa against anti-filtering tools that have helped citizens to access blocked material on the Internet. In December, they launched Mehr, its own version of YouTube, which allows users to upload and view content they create, and to watch videos from IRIB, Iran’s national broadcaster. They have also been building a national intranet – a government-run network that would operate “largely isolated” from the rest of the World Wide Web. Reporters Without Borders named Iran to its 2012 “Enemies of the Internet” list with Iran’s intensified online crackdowns, increased digital surveillance of citizens, and the imprisonment of web activists.