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December 11, 2012

Iran launches its own video network

The video site is meant to offer a government approved alternative to YouTube.

By Tineka Smith

AFP reported that the website is called ‘Mehr’ which means affection in Farsi.

The new website is an alternative to YouTube which AFP says Iran has labelled ‘inappropriate’.

According to its About Us page, the video service aims to attract Persian-speaking people while promoting Iranian culture.
"From now on, people can upload their short films on the website and access (IRIB) produced material," said IRIB deputy chief Lotfollah Siahkali.

Iran has been censoring YouTube since mid 2009.

Iran had also blocked Google services earlier this year in September in reaction to an anti-Islam film posted on YouTube.

The Iranian telecommunications ministry had said they did not have enough "technical know-how" to tell the two services apart.

Since the beginning of this year, the Iranian ministry of information and communication technology has reportedly been in the testing phase of creating a countrywide "national internet" network. The goal is to take the place of services run through the World Wide Web.

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According to a report by the Guardian, the government is working on "software robots to analyse exchanging emails and chats" in efforts for more "effective ways of controlling user online activities."

Iran’s plans to launch the "halal internet," which will be catered to Islamic values and provide what it deemed as more appropriate services, keeping "unwanted" external information from entering the closed network. If such a network goes into effect it will be very similar to North Korea’s Kwangmyong network.

If the "halal network" does come into effect, permission will be needed for external users to visit websites in the network and Iranian’s visiting external websites.


Please follow this writer on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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