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Iranian regime to block Instagram

A body tasked with policing the Internet in Iran laid down a two-month deadline Tuesday for Iran’s government to regularise the use of Instagram or access to the site would be blocked.

The Iranian regime’s authorities regularly block Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites while many officials of the regime use them.

Mohammad Ali Asfani, a member of the committee for filtering the web, said the two months would allow authorities to contact Instagram over secure access to its contents.

“If this is done, we will not filter Instagram,” he said, quoted by state-run ISNA news agency.

Meanwhile on Monday, Deputy Information and Communication Technology Minister Nasrullah Jahangardi said on Monday: “The identity of everyone accessing a network must be known and anonymous users will be blocked.

“Only those having a clear identity will be allowed to use the Internet or access mobile networks. And this will be done when the transition from the IPV4 to IPV6 network is accomplished in Iran.”

His remarks come a day after the Iranian Ministry of Information and Technology announced that an ‘intelligent filtering system’ aimed at blocked websites would be operational in Iran within six months.

The move by Minister Mahamoud Vaezi would give the regime much tighter control over the websites able to be accessed by users.

The latest October report by Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, states that there are ‘severe content restrictions, intimidation and prosecution of Internet users and limitations on Internet access through throttling and filtering’.

He wrote: “Some five million websites remain blocked. The top 500 blocked websites include many dedicated to the arts, social issues, news and those ranked in the top tiers of popularity nationally.”