Economy, Sci & Tech

Telegram May Be Blocked

Telegram May Be BlockedTelegram May Be Blocked

The Prosecutor General’s Office has said it is raising the issue of filtering Telegram Messenger over security issues.

News of the impending review comes after a recent comment by that company’s CEO on Twitter said Iran’s intelligence service has requested it give them access to users’ content, according to Zoomit.

The judiciary committee in charge of the review made no mention of the CEO’s comments.  

Davoud Zareian, the head of Public Relations of Iran Telecommunications Company, told reporters on Monday that President Hassan Rouhani’s Cabinet opposes the filtering of social apps.

“No filtering will be on the horizon for Telegram social mobile application, according to the company’s policies based on the Cabinet’s directives,” he said.

“I believe that only websites with critical issues should be censured and for some intermittent issues, the whole application or website should not be closed. This is a general acceptable practice around the world as well.”

In a related story, Police Chief Brig. Gen. Hossein Ashtari told Mehr News Agency speaking on the sidelines of the meetings of provincial commanders of cyber police (FATA) on Monday that the police oversee the Internet and had surveillance over threats to elections.

“FATA has overwhelming domination over cyberspace,” he said.

Ashtari said the Supreme Council of Cyberspace determines criminal content on social networks and can work hand-in-hand with the bodies concerned to act in the national interest.

Currently, Telegram Messenger has 14 million Iranians using the service, according to a recent press release from the Berlin-based company. Some online sources have suggested the popular messenger could be blocked by the end of Wednesday.