Technology, journalism, social media and social responsibility
In his address, he noted that Iranians have contributed greatly to American culture and that despite US sanctions against the Iranian government, the US is creating avenues for American companies to provide software and technology that would enable Iranian citizens to communicate with the outside world.
…From Facebook to Twitter — from cell phones to the Internet — our people use the same tools to talk to one another, and to enrich our lives.
Yet increasingly, the Iranian people are denied the basic freedom to access the information that they want. Instead, the Iranian government jams satellite signals to shut down television and radio broadcasts. It censors the Internet to control what the Iranian people can see and say. The regime monitors computers and cell phones for the sole purpose of protecting its own power. And in recent weeks, Internet restrictions have become so severe that Iranians cannot communicate freely with their loved ones within Iran, or beyond its borders. Technologies that should empower citizens are being used to repress them.
Because of the actions of the Iranian regime, an electronic curtain has fallen around Iran — a barrier that stops the free flow of information and ideas into the country, and denies the rest of the world the benefit of interacting with the Iranian people, who have so much to offer.
I want the Iranian people to know that America seeks a dialogue to hear your views and understand your aspirations. That’s why we set up a Virtual Embassy, so you can see for yourselves what the United States is saying and doing. We’re using Farsi on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. And even as we’ve imposed sanctions on the Iranian government, today, my Administration is issuing new guidelines to make it easier for American businesses to provide software and services into Iran that will make it easier for the Iranian people to use the Internet.
The United States will continue to draw attention to the electronic curtain that is cutting the Iranian people off from the world. And we hope that others will join us in advancing a basic freedom for the Iranian people: the freedom to connect with one another, and with their fellow human beings.
The four-minute address comes at a time when tensions between Iran, Israel and the US are increasing over the possible development by Iran of a nuclear capability.