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    Iranian Censorship

    <h1>Censorship fears rise as Iran blocks access to top websites
    </h1>






    Robert Tait in Tehran
    Monday December 4, 2006
    The Guardian





    </font>


    <div id="GuardianArticle">Iran
    yesterday shut down access to some of the world's most popular
    websites. Users were unable to open popular sites including Amazon.com
    and YouTube following instructions to service providers to filter them.

    Similar
    edicts have been issued against Wikipedia, the internet encyclopaedia,
    IMDB.com, an online film database, and the New York Times site.
    Attempts to open the sites are met with a page reading: "The requested
    page is forbidden."

    The clampdown was ordered by senior judiciary
    officials in the latest phase of a campaign that has seen high-speed
    broadband facilities banned in an attempt to impede "corrupting"
    foreign films and music. It is in line with a campaign by Iran's
    Islamist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to purge the country of
    western cultural influences.<div id="spacedesc_mpu_div" ="MPU_display_"><a name="article_c&#111;ntinue"></a>
    </div>
    Iran was among 13 countries branded "enemies of the internet" last
    month by the human rights group, Reporters Without Borders, which cited
    state-sanctioned blocking of websites and the widespread intimidation
    and jailing of bloggers.

    Critics
    accuse Iran of using filtering technology to censor more sites than any
    country apart from China. Until now, targets have been mainly linked to
    opposition groups or those deemed "immoral" under Iran's Islamic legal
    code. Some news sites, such as the BBC's Farsi service, are also
    blocked.

    "We have asked the judiciary, who are in charge of
    filtering, to explain the decisions on all the sites specified but so
    far the only reply we have is a confirmation of the block on Wikipedia.
    We don't know why," said a senior technician with Datak, a service
    provider.

    The ban on YouTube reflects a growing official
    sensitivity to private films on the internet, an issue highlighted by a
    recent online video which appears to show an Iranian soap opera star
    having sex.

    With some 7.5 million surfers, Iran is believed to
    have the highest rate of web use in the Middle East after Israel. The
    net's popularity has prompted an estimated 100,000 bloggers, many
    opposed to the Islamic regime. Some blogs are substitutes for Iran's
    once-flourishing, but now largely supressed, reformist press.

    Last
    week Mohammed Tourang, head of the information bureau's cultural
    committee, warned Iranian websites of stricter rules by announcing
    steps to stamp out "immoral and illegal" content. He said site owners
    would be given official reminders to eliminate forbidden material.
    Special attention would be paid to content judged to be a threat to
    national unity or insulting to sacred religious texts and symbols.
    Students and academics say the move limits their ability to conduct
    research.

    The purge mirrors a rising tide of censorship in
    Iranian publishing which has resulted in the banning of hundreds of
    books, including western classics. Illegal satellite dishes have also
    been seized.</div>

    #2
    My boss is off to Iran in a week or so, I'll ask him to confirm that munsterfans.com is still available to our Tehran readers.

    Comment


      #3
      Just exactly how many Iranians do you think know about rugby, much less Munster? Having been there, I think you'll find only the ex-pats will have any interest!
      To see the light one must first realise it is dark

      Comment


        #4

        Originally posted by Sailor
        Just exactly how many Iranians do you think know about rugby, much less Munster? Having been there, I think you'll find only the ex-pats will have any interest!
        You mad, the Tehran wing of the MRSC are some of Munsters most fervent supporters [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img][img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]

        Comment


          #5


          [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]


          Yeah, I suppose your right. They do have a bit of history in that department! [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]
          To see the light one must first realise it is dark

          Comment

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