Iran is expanding its self-termed “smart filtering” of the internet, which allows the Iranian government to censor unwanted content on websites without banning them entirely, reports Reuters.
Iran has long blocked social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but these measures are often easily bypassed by tech-savvy Iranian citizens using proxy or virtual servers.
With smart filtering, Iran can lift its blanket ban on these websites and instead filter specific content, which is harder for users to workaround.
“Presently, the smart filtering plan is implemented only on one social network in its pilot study phase and this process will continue gradually until the plan is implemented on all networks,” said Iran Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi.
The social network in question? Instagram, which was initially available openly in Iran, but select Iranian accounts are now being blocked.
“Implementing the smart filtering plan, we are trying to block the criminal and unethical contents of the Internet sites, while the public will be able to use the general contents of those sites,” added Vaezi.
The new protocols are expected to be in place by June 2015.
(Iran flag image via Shutterstock.)