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Iran steps up internet control

Revolutionary Guards Corps arrest groups responsible for ‘obscene’ websites

Iranian authorities are stepping up efforts to censor the internet and have arrested groups responsible for setting up anti-Islamic and pornographic sites.

The cyber crime arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, a military institution set up to protect the country, said that it had "dismantled several networks that had set up anti-religious, anti-revolution and obscene Internet sites."

Without identifying the groups involved, the Revolutionary Guards said that those involved were based in foreign countries, particularly in the United States, and accused internet search giant Google and other companies of "offering financial support" to them.

"Several people, some living abroad, have been arrested and handed over to judicial authorities," the Revolutionary Guards added.

The latest crackdown follows news that young Iranian blogger Omid Mir Sayafi, jailed in February for insulting leader Ayatollah Khamenei, died in prison. While there hasn’t been an official report released yet, his lawyer told AFP that “officials in the prison said that he committed suicide”.