Iraq to Restrict Internet

BAGHDAD—The government in Iraq is tightening control of the internet, cracking down on service providers and banning websites believed to incite violence or feature pornography.

Communications Ministry spokesman Sameer al-Hasoon said Tuesday new government restrictions will require internet cafes and service providers to have sanctioned licenses to operate, the Associated Press reported.

Internet licenses will be subject to government review and cancellation if users fail to meet state requirements.

The move has been met with opposition from freedom of speech and internet rights groups as a dangerous shift toward not just moral but political censorship. Since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq internet regulations have been light compared to most other Islamic nations.