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In the first few years of the 21st century, Iran experienced a great surge in Internet usage.
As of 2013, Iran has 46 million Internet users with a penetration rate of 61.57%.
At the beginning of March 2012, Iran began implementing an internal Intranet.
This effort is partially in response to Western actions to exploit its Internet connectivity such as the Stuxnet cyberattack which have fueled suspicions of foreign technologies.
At the beginning of March 2012, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader told Iranian authorities to set up a body to oversee the Internet.
The body which is called The Supreme Council of Virtual Space will consist of the president, culture and information minister, the police and Revolutionary Guard chiefs.
Reporters Without the Borders sent a letter to UN high Commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay to share its deep concern and ask for her intervention in the case of two netizens/free speech defenders, Vahid Asghari and Hossein Derakhshan.
One of major accusation of Vahid Asghari was creating a national plan against censorship by the government.
The government's response has included requiring the use of Iranian email systems, blocking popular webmail services, inhibiting encryption use by disabling VPNs and HTTPS, and banning externally developed security software.
Internet censorship increased with the administration of conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.