Economy, Sci & Tech

Minister Apologizes to Internet Users

Minister Apologizes to Internet UsersMinister Apologizes to Internet Users

Following a week of disturbances for both ADSL Internet and mobile Internet services, the country’s minister in charge of the sector has officially apologized.

Mahmoud Vaezi, the communications and information technology minister, said on the sidelines of a local search engine event that even he experiences a blockage and slowdown while using the Internet.

The minister stated that the slowdown and disconnection are due to the connection coming to Iran from abroad, which he said “was beyond the country’s control”.

He added that the country’s international connections through different ports were able to take up the slack in a matter of hours after the initial disconnection.

Vaezi noted that workers from the national telecoms company worked efficiently to get the Internet back via the sea route after the outage.

In his discussions with the press, future Internet security must be placed at the forefront of the agenda in the event of future outages from terrorism or other incidents on the Turkish side of the border.

 No Telegram Cutoff

The minister also weighed in on the recent debacle of whether Telegram mobile instant messenger would be blocked due to critical content being spread through the service.

Vaezi emphasized that the only restrictions on the service pertains to the ban on pornographic content, while all other content can carry on.

Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov backed up the minister’s statement and announced on his official Twitter account that Telegram is processing the censorship of explicit adult materials distributed in its channels, according to TechRasa.

“Most porn channels are blocked in and outside Iran. If an app is used to spread porn, it can get kicked from AppStore,” he replied to an Iranian Twitter user.

Asked about the recent meeting convened by the High Commission for Cyberspace, which ministers did not attend over the Telegram Messenger issue.

Vaezi said he has no idea why ministers and top advisors did not attend the high-profile meeting and “probably could not fit the event into their busy schedules”.

 National Internet Services

Vaezi responded to inquiries about the recently relaunched Iranian search engine called, a national project in the works for over two years.

He said one of the requirements of the national information network was the launch of an indigenous search engine for catering to local needs.

“The national intranet project has been in the works for about 12 years and it is currently in the early stages of development,” he said.

The minister explained that there are two groups of search engines in the world, one for international searches like Google and others that are locally developed for the specific needs of those countries. “Parsijoo is not intended in taking on Google in a direct manner but to help Iranians in their searches,” he said.

Vaezi noted that people have wrongly said the national Internet and new search engine would replace the world wide web and companies like Google and Yahoo,

“This is not the case and our new local systems will work in tandem to compliment the web,” he said.