#KeepItOn open letter: The Islamic Republic of Iran must keep the internet open and secure during presidential elections

In the light of the June 18 presidential elections in Iran, organisations and members of the #KeepItOn coalition sent an open letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran and the President of Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure that the internet, messaging apps, social media platforms, and all other communication channels would remain open, secure, and accessible during the presidential election period. They further called upon the Iranian authorities to:

  • Refrain from arbitrarily blocking access to social media platforms and messaging apps, and publicly assure the people of Iran that the internet will remain open, accessible, inclusive, and secure across Iran throughout the election and thereafter;
  • Stop blocking and tampering with VPN connections, a necessary and sometimes ubiquitous tool for access to the censored internet in Iran;
  • Refrain from impeding access to high-quality, secure, and unrestricted internet for everyone throughout the election period and thereafter; and
  • Order internet service providers operating in the country to inform internet users of any potential disruptions, and to take all reasonable steps to fix any identified disruptions likely to impact the quality of service they receive.

‘We know Iran’s history of human rights abuses. We know that internet shutdowns are a well-used tool in Iran’s censorship arsenal. But we’re calling on authorities to recalibrate in 2021, and ensure the internet and digital communication platforms are open and accessible during this year’s election,’ said Access Now Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead Felicia Anthonio.