Iran minister says all web surfers to be 'identified'

Iranians use computers at a cybercafe in central Tehran. Authorities are developing a system to identify any Internet user in th
Iranians use computers at a cybercafe in central Tehran. Authorities are developing a system to identify any Internet user in the country when they log on

Iran's telecommunications minister has said his technicians are developing a system to identify any Internet user in the country at the moment of log-on, the ISNA news agency reported Saturday.

"Because of our efforts, in future when people want to use the Internet they will be identified, and there will be no web surfer whose identity we do not know," Mahmoud Vaezi said, without elaborating on how this would technically be done.

Last month, he said the Islamic republic would have "smart filtering" within six months to weed out Internet content the authorities deem offensive or criminal.

"The first phase of smart online filtering will be ready within a month, a second phase within three months and a third within six months", ISNA reported him as saying on November 14.

Iran formed a special Internet police unit in early 2011 to combat "cyber crimes", particularly on which are popular among the opposition and dissidents.

Internet censorship is a bone of contention between conservative hardliners and government members including President Hassan Rouhani who use social networks.

The authorities regularly block access to networks including, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter since public protests against the 2009 re-election of Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Official figures show that more than 30 million people out of Iran's total population of 75 million use the Internet.

A recent study found that 69 percent of young users use illegal software to bypass official restrictions.

In October, Iran prevented access to an Instagram page devoted to the lifestyle of Tehran's young elite that stirred indignation in the sanctions-hit country.

In September, the judiciary gave the government a month to ban messaging applications Viber, Tango and WhatsApp over insults to Iranian officials, but the apps remain accessible.


Explore further

Iran president vetoes WhatsApp ban: reports

© 2014 AFP

Citation: Iran minister says all web surfers to be 'identified' (2014, December 6) retrieved 20 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-iran-minister-web-surfers.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Poj
Dec 06, 2014
Don't they know that they only make it more likely that people will find a way to surf without their knowledge?

Dec 06, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Dec 06, 2014
Even worse, people will use software that makes them seem to be folk they don't like, such as over-bearing authority figures...

Will the 'secret police' figure that out before they've culled the 'chain of command' ??

Dec 07, 2014
One professional position in Iran I would most desperately not want to hold is that of the IT guy who is assuring minister Vaezi of this capability (and the schedule).

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more