A former Iranian minister has warned parliament against plans to restrict Internet access, pointing out Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite access offered to Ukrainians.
Addressing the hardliner lawmakers who are pushing for a bill to limit the internet in Iran, former communication minister Mohammad-Javad Azari-Jahromi said on Sunday that "The consequences of wrong policies are heavy. Wrong governance destroys the instruments of governance and regulation forever”.
He made the remarks in reaction to the activation of satellite internet constellation Starlink for the Ukrainians. Operated by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, it provides internet access coverage to most of the Earth.
As Ukraine's internet service has been disrupted by Russia's invasion, Musk made the internet service available in Ukraine, saying that more terminals to use it are also on the way.
The SpaceX CEO made the move after being asked by a Ukrainian government official if SpaceX could provide more Starlink services to the country after Russian troops invaded Ukraine last week.
Azari-Jahromi added that “all the unusual limitations [by Iran] on Internet [access] are direct marketing for the next generation of satellite Internet”, quipping that “if you do not provide people with the right service, others will”.
Iranians were outraged after an ad hoc parliamentary committee approved the outlines of the controversial bill -- ironically entitled 'Legislation to Protect Cyberspace Users -- to restrict freedom of access to global Internet and popular social media platforms.