Minister: Facebook should be available to all Iranians
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 5
By Umid Niayesh- Trend: Facebook should be available for all Iranians, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ali Jannati said, Mehr news agency reported on Nov. 5.
He also criticized the current filtering system in Iran, saying that not only Facebook, but other social networks should be accessible in the country.
Making decision on Facebook`s ban issue is under responsibility of Iran's Committee on Internet filtering, Jannati said, adding that the Committee is not directly related to the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry.
He also underlined that illegal limitations on access to social networks should be removed.
"Internet sites should be banned only in necessary cases," Jannati added.
Iranian authorities banned Facebook and Twitter in the summer of 2009, when ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election victory sparked massive protests that gained momentum with the help of organizers using social media.
Alongside Facebook, Iran has blocked access to many websites including YouTube.
Most users have found the ways to evade the state censors and get access to all sites via proxy tunnels and channels.
The number of internet users in the year which ended in March 2012 reached 32.7 million in Iran. The number of GPRS users amounts to 27.5 million, accounting for 36 percent of total internet users in Iran as of current year.
Some 867,000 people are using high-speed internet, and about 6 million people are using internet via an optical fiber network.