Proposed legislation in Iraq has free speech and human rights watch groups on alert.
According to a translation from the Centre for Law and Democracy, Articles 3, 4, and 5 of Iraq's IT Crimes Law would impose a mandatory life sentence for anyone using a computer or the Internet to do any of the following:
compromise the unity of the state;
subscribe, participate, negotiate, promote, contract or deal with an enemy ... in order to destabilize security and public order or expose the country to danger;
damage, cause defects, or hinder [systems or networks] belonging to security military, or intelligence authorities with a deliberate intention to harm [state security].
promote ideas which are disruptive to public order ;
implement terrorist operations under fake names or to facilitate communication with members or leaders of terrorist groups ;
promote terrorist activites and ideologies or to publish information regarding the manufacturing, preparation and implementation of flammable or explosive devices, or any tools or materials used in the planning or execution of terrorist acts ;
facilitate or promote human trafficking in any form ;
engage in trafficking, promoting or facilitating the abuse of drugs .
The Act also includes provisions to punish network users who create chaos in order to weaken the trust of the electronic system of the state, provoke or promote armed disobedience, disturb public order or harm the reputation of the
country, or intrude, annoy or call computer and information network users without authorization or hinders their use.
Copyright infringement and hacking would also land users in big trouble under the Act, which proposes a 2- to 3-year prison term for either offense.
Iran's telecommunications minister says that his ministry wants to customize Internet blocking based on user's occupation, age, and other factors.
The attorney general's office has conditionally agreed with this plan, Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi announced on December 4.
Without providing any details, he said his ministry had reviewed suggestions made by the attorney general and prepared appropriate technical responses. He expressed hope that the office would give its final approval for the implementation of the plan.
Despite the regime's extenisve efforts to censor the Internet, Iranian users currently get around the restrictions by using anti-filtering programs or virtual private networks.