Iran Denies Plans to Unplug the Internet

Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012 12:16 PM

By Andra Varin

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Iran denied reports Tuesday that it is planning to cut off its citizens’ access to the World Wide Web and replace it with a national Internet that would be much easier for the government to control.

Online reports have been quoting an interview on April 1 with Iranian Communications Minister Reza Taghipour. He was quoted as saying that beginning in August, Iran would launch a “clean” Internet and block services such as Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail, as well as popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Taghipour was quoted as saying that the Internet “promotes crime, disunity, unhealthy moral content, and atheism,” according to the International Business Times.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said Tuesday that the claims were “baseless” and planted by “the propaganda wing of the West.”

“The report is in no way confirmed by the ministry,” it said in a statement obtained by the International Business Times and Agence France-Presse.

The ministry said Iran does plan to start a “national information network,” which it described as a sort of intranet for the country.

Iran currently censors millions of websites it calls “unIslamic.”


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