Eight thousand paramilitary members of Iran’s Basij stand ready to promote the concept of a “clean internet” across the country, the militia group’s IT Engineers Organization has announced.
Mehr News Agency reports that the Ministry of Communication and Technology enlisted the Basij. When Minister Reza Taghipour first publicly introduced the concept, he explained it this way: “A high percentage of the internet usage in this country is appropriate and good but a small percentage is for immoral trades, which must be completely destroyed; under the principle of a clean internet, this immoral and sordid space in the country will be eradicated.”
Taghipour had also introduced the idea of “halal” or religiously permissible internet. He expressed his hope that the “clean internet” concept could soon be made available for the benefit of all humanity. The minister added that several countries, including Malaysia and some Gulf countries, have welcomed the idea.
Iran ranks very low in terms of the internet freedom available to users. While bloggers and other people active in the internet scene are harshly persecuted by the Islamic Republic, the Iranian Cyber Army, which is said to be linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, has hacked into several opposition and news websites over the past two years.