Iran bans Telegram messaging app over security "harm"

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 2, 2018
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TEHRAN, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The Iranian Judiciary on Monday issued an order completely banning the use of the popular Telegram messaging application, Press TV reported.

The ban results from the "harm" Telegram has done to the country's security, culture and economy during the past few years, the report said.

Earlier in the day, Tehran prosecutor's office for culture and media said in a statement that it has ordered internet service providers across the country to fully block Telegram from April 30.

Users will also not be allowed to bypass the restrictions using a virtual private network (VPN) or any other software, it added.

The decree came after Tehran chief prosecutor's office received numerous complaints from Iranian citizens calling for the complete closure of the messenger, according to the statement.

The foreign-funded application illegally enters Iran's cyberspace and operates with disregard to the rules and regulations of the country, it noted.

On April 18, website reported that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stopped using the Telegram messaging application popular among Iranians.

His decision aims at "safeguarding national interests and removing the monopoly of the Telegram messaging app," it said.

Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, secretary of the task force that screens online websites for criminal content, said earlier that all foreign messaging applications hoping to continue their operations in Iran are required to meet a number of conditions.

The first requirement is that all foreign apps need to obtain permission from Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Khorramabadi explained.

They should also save and process all data pertaining to Iranian users inside the country, ensure the users' privacy and security, and not provide data pertaining to Iranian users for any foreign entities, he said.

A permanent representative agency should also be set up in the country to handle administrative affairs and settle judicial and legal issues, the Iranian official noted.

In January, Iran announced a temporary filtering of Telegram "to prevent activities of anti-Revolution rioters."

On Jan. 3, Iran called on Telegram management to block some channels to curb spread of unrest in the country, as protests against rising prices and economic situation turned into sporadic violence in some places. Enditem

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