NewsSpecial WireIran’s internet censors begin clampdown

Iran’s internet censors begin clampdown

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jan. 01 – Beginning today, all websites with Iran-related content will have to register with the Islamic Republic’s Internet vetting body before web users inside the country can view them. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 01 – Beginning today, all websites with Iran-related content will have to register with the Islamic Republic’s Internet vetting body before web users inside the country can view them.

The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance made the announcement on Sunday. The new rule is in accordance with the decision by the government in November to restrict websites that had not registered with the ministry.

“The new rule will probably be difficult to implement and seems designed above all to give the authorities grounds to close down independent news sites”, the international press freedoms watchdog Reporters Without Borders said in November.

“It will be impossible to force the tens of thousands for websites dealing with Iran, most of which are hosted on servers abroad, to register with the authorities. But this rule could serve as pretext for arbitrarily closing or filtering news websites. It will give a legal basis for the online censorship that already exists in Iran”, it said.

Iran is on Reporters Without Borders’ list of 13 enemies of the Internet.

In October, the government banned high-speed Internet access in Iran in an apparent effort to restrict opposition groups from uploading video clips.

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