Iran orders 3 communication apps blocked

January 7, 2015 GMT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s official IRNA news agency says the judiciary has ordered three personal communication apps blocked, a decision President Hassan Rouhani’s administration has long opposed.

The Wednesday report says the judiciary has ordered that LINE, WhatsApp and Tango, three popular apps providing free phone and messaging services, be shut down.

Rouhani and fellow moderates are opposed to blocking websites or social networking applications, saying authorities should only target illegal content.

IRNA said the order will be implemented within the next few hours. Users in Tehran could still access the services Wednesday afternoon.

Social websites including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have already been blocked by censors, though many young and Web-savvy Iranians use proxy servers or other workarounds to bypass the controls.