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Iranian Thought Police Take to the Net

Samara Greenberg

On Thursday, Iran’s Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam announced that Tehran will establish a cyber police unit to fight internet crimes. Charges will be handed out for hacking, violating copyrights, and “spreading slander and lies.”

While many countries, including the U.S., police the web, Iran’s emphasis on “slander and lies” is seen as an attempt to silence government opposition. Indeed, the internet is one of the few remaining outlets for those who oppose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent re-election in June.

Interestingly, the Iranian government confirmed these accusations. According to General Mehdi Omidi, the head of Iran’s cyber unit, “The police will also intervene in political matters in case an illegal act takes place.”