Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 15
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Using Facebook is not a criminal act, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ali Jannati said, Fars news agency reported on Nov. 15.
Jannati went on to note that, he also uses Facebook adding the issue should be discussed in Iran's Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content.
Earlier on November 5, Jannati stated that Facebook should be available for all Iranians.
He also criticised the current filtering system in Iran, saying that not only Facebook, but other social networks should be accessible in the country.
On November 12, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi underlined that useful Facebook pages should be unblocked in the country, saying Iran should develop a mechanism to separate safe and unsafe Facebook pages.
He went on to note that for the time being, separating safe and unsafe contents of web pages is technically impossible, but a working group is pursuing the issue.
The Iranian authorities banned Facebook and Twitter in the summer of 2009 when ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed his re-election victory sparking off massive protests that gained momentum with the help of organisers using social media.
Alongside Facebook, Iran has blocked access to many websites including YouTube.
Most users have found 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 per cent of total Internet users in Iran as of current year.
Some 867,000 people are using high-speed Internet and about six million using the Internet via a fibre optic network.