Smart filtering in Iran won’t lift Facebook ban
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 27
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Implementing smart filtering system does not mean that ban on Facebook will be removed, Mahmoud Vaezi, the Islamic Republic's communications and information technology minister said.
"The already blocked web sites such as Facebook and Youtube can be unblocked only under a decision by the Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, headed by the prosecutor general," Vaezi said, the country's Fars news agency reported Dec. 27.
The smart filtering project includes three phases and is planned to be completed in the next ten months, the minister said.
He also noted that the first phase of the project was started by limiting access to certain pages in Instagram and is being implemented successfully in last days.
Iranian media outlets reported on Dec. 24 that an access to "offensive" content of the Instagram, a popular photo sharing network is banned, meanwhile the users are still able to open other pages.
The Islamic Republic has recently unveiled its first "smart filtering software" which is capable of accurate and rapid detecting "inappropriate" content (including text, image and video) online.
The new software is a step from the existing filtering system in Iran that blocks the access to the whole website.
Earlier in September 2013 Mohammad Reza Aghamiri, member of Iran's Committee on Internet filtering said that Facebook may be unblocked after developing a smart filtering system for separating illegal and useful content on the social network.
It should be noted that users in Iran are still able to access the banned websites including Facebook via proxies. A proxy allows bypassing 'gates' meant to block certain sites.
A survey by Iranian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports indicates that 69.3 percent of the country's young generation use proxy servers to by-pass the filters and access the banned Internet websites.
About four million Iranians are using Facebook, according to the culture minister, Ali Jannati who is also a user of the website.
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