Iranian Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content has made the decision to block access to WeChat, managing director of Iran’s Telecommunication Infrastructure Company, Mahmoud Khosravi said, Fars news agency reported on Dec. 21.
The WeChat Application enables smart phone users to use social networks. The application has been filtered in many internet services including Iran’s communication organization and IranCell.
The application is a product of Chinese company Tencent, and is highly used by young people as well as retail businesses in Iran. It allows file sharing and communication with others connected to the same local area network.
Khosravi also underlined that only the representative of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry in the committee opposed this decision.
The Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content which is headed by the prosecutor general of Iran, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’I was established in 2009.
The committee has 13 members including 6 ministers from Iranian president Hassan Rouhani`s cabinet.
Khosravi went on to say that filtering other social networks in Iran is not on the agenda for the being time.
Several of world’s most popular networks, such as Twitter and Facebook are banned in Iran, while users are still able to access them via proxies. For the geeks uninitiated in the world of computer, a proxy allows bypassing ‘gates’ meant to block certain sites.
The Iranian authorities banned Facebook and Twitter in summer 2009 when ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election victory sparked off massive protests that gained momentum with the help of organizers using social media.
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