Menu
Iran to weed 'moral' crimes from social networks, starting with Facebook

Iran to weed 'moral' crimes from social networks, starting with Facebook

Iran has said it is willing to cooperate with Google and other Internet companies provided they play by its rules

Iran has arrested several Facebook users on charges ranging from insulting religious figures to conducting immoral activities, even as it is said to be talking to Google about setting up operations in the country.

The country's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is planning to monitor online crimes within the next two months on other social networks as well, including Instagram, Viber and WhatsApp, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Tuesday, quoting a statement from the guards.

Iran is ready to cooperate with Google and other Internet companies to allow them to operate in the country, but if they will play by local laws, IRNA reported Monday.

The country has frequently blocked websites that it considers objectionable though people use technologies like virtual private networks (VPNs) to get around the blocks.

The news agency said Nasrollah Jahangard, Iran's deputy minister of telecommunications and information technology, has been quoted by local media as saying that negotiations are going on with Google to establish a version of its servers in Iran. The country was also said to be negotiating with other U.S. and European Internet companies.

The announcement by the IRGC appears to be directed at the Internet companies to give them an idea of what the government expects from them.

The guards claimed they managed to monitor the activities of 8 million Facebook users, under a surveillance project named Spider, and made several arrests on different charges.

In February, the IRGC's Center for the Study of Organized Cyber Crimes said it arrested 12 individuals and summoned another 24, as their Facebook pages "promote a liberal and open-minded culture, weaken the sacred institution of the family, ridicule religious beliefs and values, promote immoral and unethical relationships, and spread private pictures of young women," according to watchdog organization Freedom House.

Iran's Telecommunications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi reportedly said in November that the country would have "smart filtering" within six months to weed out Internet content that is found to be offensive or criminal. In September, Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moqaddam said that the use of communications technologies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber are "inevitable."

But it is unlikely that some of the large Internet companies will go along with the large-scale filtering proposed by Minister Vaezi.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGoogleFacebookInternet-based applications and servicesWhatsAppInstagramViber

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments