SOFTWARE>>CENSORSHIP • Internet
Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has blocked the most popular software used by millions of Iranians to bypass an elaborate official Internet filtering system, stepping up a campaign to gain control over the way the Internet is used.
On February 7, a clutch of illegal virtual private networks, or VPNs, was closed, making visits to sites deemed immoral or politically dangerous, like Facebook and Whitehouse.gov, nearly impossible. The VPNs helped users to go online through foreign-based servers and visit sites anonymously and unrestricted. While illegal in Iran, the software, which requires usernames and passwords, was widely available in the country. After the clampdown those trying to visit the proscribed sites are being directed to a page where they are asked to report illegal use of the Internet. This page, Peyvandha.ir, also explains in Persian that websites that promote “debauchery, pornography and advocating ideas against religion” are forbidden.
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