ICTs represent a source for emancipation among the citizens of repressive regimes as evidenced by the growth of websites, blogging, social networking and text messaging in countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, these ICTs are heavily filtered in both countries. We examine the justifications offered by authorities for this censorship. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, we demonstrate that the claims fail Habermas’s four part validity test and are better understood as ideology. We argue that ICT filtering is implemented to serve the political agendas of small but powerful Islamic elites in order to undermine citizens’ capacities to pursue their democratic goals.