Iran isn’t exactly a huge fan of the Internet. That’s why it attempted to cut off Google services for all its citizens, and came up with its own state-sponsored alternative to YouTube. Now’s it’s working on a solution for social networks: intelligent censorship software.
For the moment, Iran deals with the nuisance of social networking largely by blocking the sites. Facebook and Twitter, for example, are completely banned. As such, many savvier Iranians are turning to VPNs, and the hope seems to be that limited social networking would bring them back into the Intranet fold. Maybe. And for those who aren’t messing with VPNs, the automatic, intelligent censorship software can give Iranians the benefits of social networking without all that pesky freedom.
Police Chief Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam has been quoted as saying:
“Smart control of social networks will not only avoid their disadvantages, but will also allow people to benefit from their useful aspects…Smart control of social networks is better than filtering them completely.”
And while you might not agree with the whole censorship thing, something is better than nothing. How much better will just depend on how intelligent that software really is. Something tells me it’s bound to be a little trigger-happy. [AFP via The Next Web]