Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Online Iran

From my Reuters AlertNet blog on 6 December 2006.

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The online media in Iran have been under pressure for some time, and yet, there are also signs that the government understands the value of new media. Reporters Without Borders yesterday released a statement, noting that both YouTube and the New York Times websites were both being blocked inside the country. Wikipedia's English and Kurdish versions have been blocked for a time, and the blacklist is growing in the shadow of a general ban on high-speed Internet access imposed two months ago.

"The government is trying to create a digital border to stop culture and news coming from abroad -- a vision of the Net which is worrying for the country's future", the organisation said. "But, more generally it is a threat to the worldwide web which, instead of aiding understanding between peoples could be changed into a medium of intolerance. The Iranian government policy is not an isolated case."

Still, at least one move suggests the government "gets it" when it comes to online media. President Ahmedinejad has his own blog in four languages.

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