Iran is allegedly pushing forward with plans to develop an ‘intelligent software’ that will allow government officials to invariably oversee its citizens access to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).
This whole idea of this controlling software is geared toward curbing citizens from using social media platforms to plot and spread messages of protest. Through this software, the government will limit the scope of social media usage in Iran, allowing Iranians to use these sites only for government-approved purposes.
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Police Chief Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam shared insight on the matter to 7Sobh daily, a local media house. He was quoted to say ‘The designing of intelligent software to control social networking websites” is in the works’. Moghadam also added that the control software would not only steer Iranians away from the loopholes of social media but it would also allow them to benefit from its useful aspects.
Interestingly, Iran’s ‘online police’ have in the past gone to extreme lengths in the name of monitoring online communications. Since 2011, the Iranian government recurrently barred access to foreign services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Gmail. Nonetheless, many Iranians have sailed through these supposedly huge barriers by simply using virtual private network technology.
In yet another overt attempt to seal Iran from global ties, the Iranian government has reportedly been working on a national intranet for several months. The U.S government on the other hand has been working around the clock in its attempts to keep Iranians online. Ironically, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office has a Facebook page, which was set up only recently, suggesting that the country is slowly opening up to social media despite overwhelming restrictions.
Iran’s detachment from the global community continues to take different twists in light of the sanctions it received from the U.S last year.