Gholamreza Soleimani, commander of the Basij (Popular Mobilization), which is under the supervision of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, revealed the formation of 1,000 cyber battalions that were used to control the social environment.
According to Al Arabiya, quoting the Iranian website "Election", Soleimani confirmed that the Basij organizations have recruited thousands of users of social networking sites. The Basij created 1,000 electronic battalions with the aim of enhancing the presence of revolutionary forces in cyberspace.
In military terms, each battalion is about 500 people, and therefore the formation of 1,000 electronic battalions means recruiting half a million people to monitor the Internet and communication sites that the Iranian authorities fear for their pivotal role in popular protests.
Soleimani did not mention the size and source of funding used by the Basij to organize half a million people, but stressed that these cyber brigades "are made up of young people with motivation, enthusiasm and specialization in cyberspace."
Last month, Iran announced the creation of the Ministry of Culture No. 2, tasked with monitoring cyberspace, the Internet, social networking sites and applications.
The Supreme Council for Cyberspace, set up under orders from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, exercises censorship.