Science & technology
Iran president vetoes WhatsApp ban
Publish Date: May 08, 2014
Iran president vetoes WhatsApp ban
Government officials have voiced support for lifting the wider ban on social media. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
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
Lenovo closes deal to buy Motorola from Google
Lenovo announced Thursday it has completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google, a move strengthening the Chinese giant''s position in the smartphone market....
Co-creator of Android mobile software leaves Google
Google confirmed that an executive behind leading mobile device software Android is leaving the company to create an incubator for hardware startups....
Nintendo logs $132 million first-half net profit
Japanese videogame giant Nintendo said Wednesday its first-half net profit soared to $132 million as a sharply weaker yen boosted its bottom line and offset slowing sales....
Mobile app helps track Ebola epidemic
A new mobile telephone based mapping service has been created in a bid to track Ebola and better help communities hit by the virus in west Africa, developers said Monday....
Scientists revive giant virus from 30,000-year-old Siberian permafrost
French and Russian researchers have revived a 30,000-year-old living virus from deep below the frozen Siberian tundra...
Orbital rocket explodes after launch
An unmanned rocket explodes in a giant fireball and plummets back to Earth just seconds after launch....
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter