Controversies Surrounding Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Iran Blocks Major Web Sites

Iran Blocks Major Web Sites

A campaign, led by Iran's Islamist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attempts to free the country of Western cultural influences, via the Internet. Human rights groups, YouTube and b3ta are amongst the major Web sites blocked. Reporters Without Borders branded Iran, along with 13 other countries, as "enemies of the Internet" in November 2006.

Iran has about 23 million Internet users which is the highest number of web users in the Middle East. The country also has more than 100,000 bloggers, some of which are substitutes for Iran's suppressed, reformist press.

Critics accuse Iran of using filtering technology to censor more sites than any country, except the People's Republic of China. Until now, targets have been mainly linked to opposition groups or those deemed "immoral" under Iran's Islamic legal code. Some news sites, such as the BBC's Persian service, are also blocked.

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