Iranian ministers open pages on banned Facebook

AP , Monday 9 Sep 2013

In a move that may herald the lifting of some Internet barriers in Iran, the entire Cabinet of 15 ministers open Facebook pages

Iran's entire Cabinet has opened Facebook pages in what is seen as a move toward greater openness — even though the social media site is blocked in the Islamic Republic.

The Facebook pages of 15 ministers could be viewed in Tehran through a proxy server. Newspapers on Monday hinted the move might herald the lifting of some Internet barriers.

All but one minister signed up this August after the inauguration of centrist- and reformist-backed President Hasan Rouhani, who has also opened a page.

Hard-liners see the Internet as a possible corrupting force, but many Iranians use proxies to access banned sites.

"It seems the 'key'" — Rouhani's electoral symbol in his presidential campaign — "may turn the lock of (Internet) filtering," the pro-reform Shargh daily said.

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