December 18, 2008 / 1:13 PM / 11 years ago

Montenegro bans Facebook access in government offices

A Facebook profile is seen in a handout image. REUTERS/Facebook

PODGORICA (Reuters) - Montenegro has banned access to popular social networking and video sharing websites such as Facebook and YouTube in all state-run institutions, a statement said.

From Thursday, employees in government offices and the parliament trying to log on to their Facebook accounts during working hours will be greeted with an “access denied” message.

The office in charge of maintaining the government’s network explained that they sought to avoid a meltdown of its system from excess traffic.

“Therefore, during working hours, access to certain potentially malicious and huge traffic generating websites is disabled,” the office said in the statement.

Montenegro, an Adriatic country of 650,000 that has posted significant growth in Internet use in recent years, has 14,100 Facebook users. The popularity of YouTube, which is owned by Google, has also grown quickly.

According to the latest providers’ data, the current Internet penetration rate is close to 40 percent, compared to just 8 percent three years ago.

Reporting by Dusko Mihailovic. Editing by Adam Tanner

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