Iran to continue internet censorship but to tone it down


Iran has claimed that it will continue internet censorship, in the form of “smart filtering”. It has defined smart filtering as the procedure of scanning and censoring content on websites perceived as undesirable, but stopping short of banning them.

The nation has extremely stringent and strict Internet norms. Despite this, tech savvy citizens use virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass many of their bans on sites such as Twitter, Youtube, Facebook.

It is being expected that under this new stance, blanket bans on these sites will be lifted and replaced by filtering of content.

In a report by official news agency IRNA, Mahmoud Vaezi, Communications Minister has said, “Presently, the smart filtering plan is implemented only on one social network in its pilot study phase and this process will continue gradually until the plan is implemented on all networks.” He is said to have been referring to Instagram, which is also being filtered presently and not completely blocked.

He went on to add, “Implementing the smart filtering plan, we are trying to block the criminal and unethical contents of the Internet sites, while the public will be able to use the general contents of those sites.”

The policy is expected to be fully implemented by June, 2015