Iranian statesmen advocate web filtering

Photo: Iranian statesmen advocate web filtering   / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 7

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

All representatives of Iranian administration in the country's Supreme Cyberspace Council secretary agree with web filtering.

Mohammad Hassan Entezari, Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council secretary, said a plan titled "appropriate cyber space" will be proposed by the council to related organizations, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on June 7.

He rejected any dispute between members of the Supreme Cyberspace Council and representatives of the administration in the council about the issue of filtering, saying, all the representatives of the Iranian administration in the country's Supreme Cyberspace Council secretary agree with web filtering

The Supreme Leader has tasked the council with adopting macro-policies regarding cyber space, he noted.

On January 24, former Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council secretary, Mehdi Akhavan Bahabadi, said Iran has no unity in online filtering policy issue.

"Since there is no unity, the problem of filtering remains unresolved. Smart filtering is possible in Iran, but it is not being implemented," he said.

In February 2013, Bahabadi said Iran would launch a national program with the goal of filtering web contents intelligently.

According to the plan, filtering dubious websites will be carried out smartly, he said, adding that the new program will just block that part of a website which contains harmful content.

The existing system blocks access to the whole website, he added.

The program was launched a couple of days ago and its first phase will be inaugurated by the next three months, he noted.

Surveys show that, below 10 percent of internet users in Iran use anti-filtering software, he further added. Removing the filtering of Facebook will be probable in the long term, he concluded.

Facebook and Twitter are banned in Iran, which doesn't mean Iranians are totally cut off from the world's most popular social websites. Visitors from Iran are able to log on both Twitter and Facebook via proxies - special IP addresses, which serve as a hub through which internet requests are processed.

The Iranian authorities banned Facebook and Twitter in summer of 2009, when ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election victory sparked massive protests that gained momentum with the help of organizers who used social media channels.

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