Iran has blocked access to more than five million Internet sites in a crackdown on immoral and antisocial viewing. Abdolsamad Khoram Abadi, an advisor to Iran’s prosecutor general, explained that “The enemies seek to assault our religious identity by exploiting the Internet.” Of course, any site catering to post-Sixth Century life would seem to challenge Iranian values at this point. The country has also arrested Hossein Derakhshan, a leading blogger, on the charge of spying for Israel.
Abdolsamad Khoram Abadi further explained that the Internet “inflicts social, political, economic and moral damage, which is worrying . . . [since]social vice caused by the Internet is more than that by the satellite network.” There are 21 million users in Iran so the mullahs are beginning to get a bit worried.
Previously, the government moved to block access to political, human rights, including women’s sites and dissidents weblogs. Clearly, human rights sites are a major indecency in Iran.
This latest move follows a crackdown in 2000 against the press.
Notably, Sobh-e Sadegh, the publication of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said, “The Internet, satellite (channels) and text messages played an important role in colour revolutions in Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia.” Of course, those were revolutions that expanded liberties — a frightening prospect for these religious extremists.
The authorities have also arrested Hossein Derakhshan, called the “Blogfather” of Iran for his work expanding the use of the Internet in that country. Derakhshan spent several years in Canada and returned to Iran a few weeks ago. He has now been charged with the implausible (but common charge) of spying for Israel, click here.
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