INU- The Iranian regime’s Cyber Police have shut down 67 Internet cafes in Tehran in a week as the regime tightens its control over people’s freedom online.
Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia said 352 cafés were inspected in the latest draconian clampdown on the Internet.
He told the state-run news INSA agency: “According to a plan implemented during the past week, agents in charge of supervision of public places in Tehran inspected 352 Internet Cafés and as a result 67 were shut down due to violations by the owners and a number of others received a warnings of closure.
“Many internet cafes are trying to damage young people and families by offering illegal services and it is the responsibility of police to deal with the violators.
“Following repeated violations by various businesses and many cases prepared by the cyber-police in Tehran, a plan for dealing with illegal Internet cafes and those violating law has been implemented.
Sajedinia did not elaborate that what those violations has been.
The plan to set up a Cyber Police division was announced in 2009 by country’s Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam to counter ‘internet crimes’, and the Iranian Cyber Police (FATA) was founded in January 2011.
Ahmadi-Moqaddam said at the time: “The Cyber Police will tackle anti-revolutionary and dissident groups who used Internet-based social networks in 2009 to trigger protests.”
In January 2012, the Cyber Police issued new guidelines for Internet cafés, requiring users to provide personal information that would be kept by café owners for six months, as well as a record of the websites they visited.
The rules also require café owners to install closed-circuit television cameras and maintain the recordings for six months.
Meanwhile, the use of VPNs and other technology that allows users to circumvent internet blocking is also forbidden in internet cafés