08 Jan 2013

Iran Creates `Smart Software’ to Supervise Users on Social Media


Iran is investing in customized software to help the government restrict and control citizens’ access to social networking platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.

Currently, Internet users in Iran cannot legally access popular social networking platforms as their government filters and blocks these websites with a state-approved mechanism as part of the national Internet censorship act.

Apparently these measures haven’t managed to stop Iranian Internet users from accessing banned sites because people became good at finding and using various methods to circumvent the blocks. This made the government realize that restricting and controlling users while on these sites can be more effective than banning the sites altogether.

“Smart control of social networks is better than filtering them completely,” Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam, head of the national security forces in Iran, told local newspaper 7Sobh. “The designing of intelligent software to control social networking websites is underway."

The “smart software” agenda follows the setting up of a Facebook page dedicated to the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – a page that shortly became the center of attention of crowds of people in the country and abroad.

Throughout the years, Iranian authorities put a lot of effort into convincing their citizens that using social networks makes them part of a scheme set up by Western world to undermine the Islamic regime.

The Iranian Internet censorship program includes also a customized intranet meant to shield citizens against anti-Islamic content.

Source: Security Week