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U.S. officials say the Internet, and specifically social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, are providing the United States with critical information in the face of Iranian authorities banning Western journalists from covering political rallies.

Because the Iranians have shut down Web sites and closed newspapers, one senior official said, "one of the ways people are able to get out the word is Twitter."

"There are lots of people here watching" at bureaus and offices across the State Department, another senior official said. "There are some interesting messages going up." Read full article »

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