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Govt to impose tighter controls on internet

5 Aug 2009

The Iraqi government is to tighten restrictions placed on the country’s internet service providers (ISPs) and strengthen control of online content and usage, writes the Associated Press citing government officials. ‘All websites that glorify terrorism and incite violence and sectarianism, or those that violate social morals with content such as pornography, will be banned,’ communications ministry spokesman Sameer al-Hasoon told the Associated Press. The state also plans to require internet cafes — and later ISPs — to obtain licences that are subject to government review and cancellation if compliance requirements are not met. Al-Hasoon did not provide further details of the government committee’s recommendations, but said he expects the proposals to be approved by the cabinet next week. The next step would see the government sending the draft legislation to parliament. The plans have been met with strong criticism from freedom of speech advocates, who believe the move is a dangerous first step toward political censorship.


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