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Persian Letters

Iran Developing 'Smart Control' Software For Social-Networking Sites

A computer engineer checks equipment at an Internet service provider in Tehran. (file photo)
A computer engineer checks equipment at an Internet service provider in Tehran. (file photo)
Iran's chief of police, Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, has said that the country is developing software to control social-networking sites. 
Speaking to reporters on January 2, Ahmadi Moghadam said the "smart control" of social-networking sites is more useful than their complete filtering.
"The smart control of social-networking sites not only prevents their harm, but also allows people to benefit from their useful parts," he said. Moghadam said the establishment last year of a Supreme Council of Cyberspace was a factor in reaching that conclusion.

His comments come some three weeks after the launch of a Facebook page devoted to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which is believed to have been created and administered by his office.
The page has led to domestic calls for the unblocking of Facebook, which is filtered in Iran.

Until recently, Iranian officials warned citizens against the use of social-networking sites, which the state considered evil Western tools in the “soft war” aimed at bringing down the clerical establishment.
Iran filters Facebook and, apparently, also monitors it. Yet millions of Iranians access the social-networking site through antifiltering tools. The recent developments suggest a growing willingness to admit that filtering of social-networking sites has not served the establishment's purposes.
Moghadam's comments could also indicate that the Islamic republic is working to more aggressively monitor social-networking sites, which have provided activists with a relatively free platform for disseminating information about taboo issues.
In recent months, several activists have been threatened and detained over their Facebook postings, including blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died last year in custody after being arrested by Iran's cybercrime police.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari

Tags: Facebook,social networking

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Comment Sorting
by: person from: earth
January 06, 2013 06:29
Well, if those who read and published this report think that Facebook and "personal" emails are not monitored in the "free" West, are fools or very naive.

It must be borne in mind that it was the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), responsible for developing technology for the American military, that initiated development of the internet.

In 2011 the British daily, the Guardian newspaper, reported that “a Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom) that oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an online persona management service that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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