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Iran designs software for controlled social media access

Times National Desk - January 8th, 2013

Iran is designing ‘intelligent software’ that would give citizens restricted and controlled access to banned social networking sites.
Local media Sunday quoted police chief Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam as saying, reports daily Hurriyet.
‘Smart control of social networks will not only avoid their disadvantages, but will also allow people to benefit from their useful aspects,’ Ahmadi Moghadam said, as cited by the 7Sobh daily.
‘The designing of intelligent software to control social networking websites’ is underway, he added.
Facebook, Twitter and many other social websites are blocked by an official filtering mechanism as part of Iran’s strict internet censorship.
But many web users in Iran, where half of the 75-million population is connected to the internet, have found ways around the blocks through sophisticated software known as VPN despite it being declared illegal in Iran.
Ahmadi Moghadam hinted that the new software would allow Iranians to have limited access to social networks.
‘Smart control of social networks is better than filtering them completely,’ he said, without elaborating.
His comments came after the launch in mid-December of a Facebook page dedicated to the country’s supreme leader.