Economy, Sci & Tech

3rd Phase of Smart Filtering

3rd Phase of Smart Filtering
3rd Phase of Smart Filtering

The Rouhani administration will launch the third phase of "smart internet filtering" throughout the first quarter of the new Iranian year (started March 21), Mahmoud Vaezi, minister of communications and information technology, announced in a news conference as reported by ICTNA on Wednesday.

Smart filtering is a policy of censoring undesirable content on websites without banning them in their entirety, officials explain.

President Hassan Rouhani issued the implementation of smart filtering plan in three phases last November.

According to Vaezi, smart filtering is a 10-month plan; the first phase took about a month to complete, the second phase lasted three months, and the third one will take six months.  The first phase of the plan was completed last January and the second one began afterwards in March, he said.  

The first target of the smart filtering plan appeared to be Instagram, the photo-sharing site owned by Facebook, which has already been filtered, but not blocked. Vaezi previously boasted that the filtering of Instagram has been done with 83 percent success.

Implementing the smart filtering plan, the government seeks to block criminal and unethical internet content, while the public will be able to use the general contents of those sites.

  Telecom Services Tariffs

In a separate development on Monday the minister said tariffs on voice and data services offered by mobile network operators will remain the same in the current Iranian year, while call rates for landline telephones through the country's nationalized telecoms provider will increase after unification of area codes.

The minister said that the Telecommunication Company of Iran has been asked to adjust the new call rates in less than two weeks.

The minister also criticized internet performance during Nowruz holidays, saying that the administration fights for the rights of internet customers against some service providers, which offer low bit rate and high latency. The government will carefully monitor the services of internet providers throughout the year, he promised.