Iran to launch two domestic Internet search engines

Iran to launch two domestic Internet search engines

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 27

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran will launch two domestic Internet search engines in the coming days, the country's Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi said.

The projects have been underway since last year in cooperation with two Iranian universities, Vaezi said, Iran 's Mehr news agency reported Jan. 27.

The Internet search engines are ready now and will be launched at the "Fajr Decade" (February 1 to 11) celebrating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Vaezi added.

The issue of developing domestic search engines was raised for the first time in 2010 during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Since then the government has been pursuing ways to replace Western Internet search engines with its own homegrown version and increasing control over Iranians' access to the World Wide Web.

The new engines were expected to be operational by 2012 but encountered delays.

While commenting on the country's smart filtering system, Vaezi said that the project's success rate is 83 percent.
The project's first phase is implemented upon Instagram, the minister said, adding the second phase will come on stream in the next months.

Two new softwares will be used during that phase and smart filtering will cover other social networks, Vaezi explained.
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 access to the whole website.

It should be noted that 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. 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 banned Internet websites.

Edited by CN

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