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Iran to create internet police, security chief says

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New force will "identify threats and remove them," security chief says
  • Unit will be up and running within months, he says
  • Anti-government activists relied on Twitter, YouTube during protests last year

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iran is creating a new "internet police" force, the head of the country's security forces said Wednesday, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The force will "identify threats and remove them," Maj. Gen. Esmaeel Ahmadi Moghadam said.

Anti-government activists relied on websites like Twitter and YouTube to circulate information during last year's demonstrations against the re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The internet police should be up and running "within the next couple of months," the security chief said.

He said the force was necessary because the "internet is relatively new and is so extensively used," so "unique and serious threats are felt by users and the society. Identifying these threats and removing them and passing new laws applicable in this space is part of an effort to prevent any harm."

CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.

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