Science & technology
Iran president vetoes WhatsApp banPublish Date: May 08, 2014
Iran president vetoes WhatsApp ban
  • mail
  • img
Government officials have voiced support for lifting the wider ban on social media. PHOTO/AFP
newvision

TEHRAN - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has vetoed a plan to ban WhatsApp, following a row over censorship of the popular messaging application, media reports said Wednesday.

Access to social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, are routinely blocked by Iranian authorities, as are other websites considered un-Islamic or detrimental to the regime.

The policy is contentious and the move to filter WhatsApp has caused a rupture between Rouhani's administration and a 13-member committee responsible for Internet censorship.

The reformist Sharq daily reported that Rouhani has ordered the WhatsApp ban, proposed shortly after Facebook bought the messaging service for $19 billion in February, be stopped.

"The issue of banning WhatsApp was raised. The president has ordered a halt on (banning) the site," Telecommunications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted as saying by Sharq.

"Until the time that we have a replacement for these sites, the government opposes filtering them," he added.

According to an official at the telecommunications ministry, the ban was approved by the Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, but it was not implemented.

In separate comments, the committee secretary Abdolsamad Khorramabadi this week told several local media outlets: "One of the reasons for approving the filtering of WhatsApp was the adaptation of this software by (Mark) Zuckerberg, the American Zionist manager of blocked site Facebook."

The committee has yet to decide if it wants to ban other smartphone applications, including Instagram -- also owned by Facebook -- and Viber.

Government officials have voiced support for lifting the wider ban on social media.

Rouhani has promised greater tolerance on social, cultural and media issues -- a vow that helped him beat his conservative opponents in the presidential election last year.

But the president continues to face resistance from hardliners.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch
Samsung Electronics said Monday it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google''s Android system....
Chinese regulators visit Microsoft offices: Dow Jones
Officials from China''s corporate regulator paid visits Monday to software giant Microsoft''s offices in four cities in the country, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing people familiar with the matter....
Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch
Samsung Electronics has said it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google's Android system....
Wikipedia blocks
WIKIPEDIA has blocked editing rights from some computers at the US House of Representatives in response to "disruptive" revisions of the online encyclopedia...
Baidu working on semi-autonomous car
THE company is often colloquially referred to as the “Google of China,” and it appears that Baidu is going down the same road as its Mountain View counterpart...
US Congress passes law to permit cellphone unlocking
US Congress passes law to permit cellphone unlocking WASHINGTON - US consumers will be allowed to unlock their cellphones and move them to a new carrier, under a law adopted on Friday to fix a perceived glitch in copyright law....
Should voters be given poer to recall their MPs?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter