A study by ViewDns published on Friday highlighted the poor state of internet access in Iran in 2012. It revealed that 27% of all internet sites are blocked in the country.
ViewDNS took the top 100 sites in each category as listed in Alexa’s ‘Top Sites’ directory and tested access to these sites from an Internet connection in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Overall, ViewDNS tested websites belonging to 15 different categories including adult, arts, news, society, shopping, computers, game, kids and teens, regional, business, sports, health, recreation, science, and reference. Amongst all categories, adult and arts websites are the most censored in Iran, which is not surprising since the content of adult websites is highly considered as immoral and is against the religious values of the Islamic Republic. 97% of adult websites are censored and 58% of arts website cannot be accessed by civilians, which include YouTube, Disney, TV.com and the MTV website.
In the news sector 32% of the top 100 global News sites are blocked in Iran, including the BBC, The Guardian, Fox News, The Huffington Post and the New York Post. Although news websites are in the top three of the most censored categories, considering Iran's policy regarding the freedom of the press, this figure is much lower than expected. Surprisingly, websites such as CNN, Reuters, The New York Times and Bloomberg are not censored.
From this report it seems that one in every four sites on the internet is inaccessible to users in Iran, The Next Web notes.
Last week, in a video directed at the Iranian people on the occasion of Persian New year, Barack Obama severely criticized the lack of freedom of information in the country accusing the government of imposing an 'electronic curtain'.