Iran considers cyberspace council

March 7, 2012 at 9:54 AM

TEHRAN, March 7 (UPI) -- Iran's supreme leader announced Wednesday he called on Iran's president to set up a council to examine domestic and international Internet usage.

"In a decree issued on Wednesday, the leader enumerated the important impact of the Internet on individual and social life, the necessity of planning to prevent damages caused by it and using opportunities to provide people with useful services as reasons necessitating the establishment of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace," Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lead the task force, which would include parliamentary leaders as well as the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network.

Tehran was criticized for cracking down on free speech and Internet usage ahead of parliamentary elections last week.

The Iranian government had blocked Internet traffic and inhibited some cellular phone traffic in an alleged effort to silence opponents of Ahmadinejad following his contested election victory in 2009.

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