In Iran: 69% youth use illegal software: report

Study was publicised just a day after President Rouhani said existing internet controls were counter-productive.

Afp September 08, 2014

TEHRAN: More than two-thirds of young Iranian internet users are using illegal software to reach websites that are officially banned, government research cited by media said Monday. The study, by the research centre of the ministry of sport and young people, was publicised just one day after President Hassan Rouhani said existing internet controls were counter-productive. Mohammad Taghi Hassanzadeh, head of the research centre, said that “69.3% use proxies (servers in other countries) to circumvent censorship and go on the Internet”, according to ISNA news agency. Iran has a filtering policy that makes popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube inaccessible without the use of prohibited software capable of creating a VPN (Virtual Private Network) across a regular public Internet connection. Advocates of filtering in the Islamic republic say it protects citizens from immoral content, such as pornographic websites, but opponents say VPNs render such restrictions pointless.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2014.

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