Iran says it can block 'Internet in a suitcase'

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's intelligence minister said Friday that his country has found a way to block the so-called "Internet in a suitcase," a program reportedly developed by the U.S. to bring online access to dissidents around the world.

The minister, Heidar Moslehi, told Muslim worshippers that Iran was aware of the program from the start. "We prepared a solution for it," he said in a speech broadcast live on state radio. He did not elaborate.

Iran has alleged that the program, first reported by The New York Times last month, is largely aimed at the Islamic Republic.

Earlier this month, Iran's telecommunications minister, Reza Taqipour, said Iran is taking technical measures to combat the the program. Taqipour was quoted by state media as saying that the program is part of a "cultural invasion" by Iran's enemies aimed at promoting dissent and undermining Iran's ruling system.

During widespread anti-government protests following disputed June 2009 presidential elections, the government slowed Internet connections to a crawl and shut down cell phone services to stifle dissent.

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