Near 5 mln of Iranians use WhatsApp and Viber

Photo: Near 5 mln of Iranians use WhatsApp and Viber / Society

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 19

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

About 4.5 to 5 million of Iranian citizens use WhatsApp and Viber smart phone network applications, Iran's culture minister Ali Jannati said.

The minister, who is a member of the Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content warned about filtering the popular applications and networks, Iran's ICANA news agency reported on July 19.

The committee which is headed by the prosecutor general of Iran, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei makes decisions on blocking access to "illegal" websites in Iran.

Established in 2009, the committee has 13 members including 6 ministers from Iranian president Hassan Rouhani`s cabinet.

Jannati went on to remark that a new regulation is drafted for the committee, which if is approved decision on filtering or unblocking a certain web site only can be made by vote of members' majority.

Currently a 5-member commission from committee makes decisions on the issue, he added.

Several of world's most popular networks, such as Twitter and Facebook are banned in Iran, while users are still able to access them via proxies. For the geeks uninitiated in the world of computer, a proxy allows bypassing 'gates' meant to block certain sites.

Early in May, Hassan Rouhani vetoed a decision made by the committee to block WhatsApp application.

It was reported on April 30 that Iran had banned access to WhatsApp messenger application in the country.

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