Iran orders the blockade of Telegram

By , in Technologies on .

Iranian authorities have ordered Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to Telegram, a popular messaging application used by some 40 million Iranians, state television reported on Monday.

According to the report, a Tehran prosecutor ordered that Telegram versions for cell phones and computers be blocked in such a way that users can not circumvent it using a virtual private network (VPN).

“The blocking of the Telegram application should prevent users from accessing it with VPN or any other software,” said the Fars news agency.

The application was still running Monday night, and the Telegram company has not yet had a reaction on the matter, reports AP.

Telegram, promoted as a coded messaging service, was used by organizers of anti-government protests in December and January. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

Last month, the head of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said Iran would block Telegram for reasons of national security. Since then, many users affiliated with the government have opted for local alternatives.

One of them is “Soroush”, an app that allows you to use emoticons with the slogan “Death to the United States” or “Death to Israel”, and on which suspicion of being intervened by local intelligence services fall, according to the BBC

Telegram, promoted as a coded messaging service, was used by organizers of anti-government protests in December and January. Some 25 people were killed and some 5,000 were arrested during the demonstrations, which were the largest since the disputed 2009 election.

The application was temporarily canceled during the protests, but some users continued to use it through VPN services and intermediaries.
“Soroush” is an app that allows you to use emoticons with the slogan “Death to the United States” or “Death to Israel”.

“Soroush” is an app that allows you to use emoticons with the slogan “Death to the United States” or “Death to Israel”.

Iran blocks Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, while censoring other websites. While senior officials have unrestricted access to social networks, Iranian youth and citizens with technology skills use intermediary servers or other alternatives to circumvent controls.

The Iranian authorities say that Telegram has been used to spread lies and incite public opinion, and that it has also been used by terrorists and pornographers.

The government has said that Telegram and other foreign messaging applications can obtain licenses to operate if they transfer their databases to the country. Experts in privacy say that this could expose more easily the private communication of the users so that the government can spy on it.

Russia has blocked millions of IP addresses used to circumvent the obstruction to encrypted Telegram messages ordered by Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecoms control authority, after a court ruling on Telegram’s refusal to provide special services (FSB). the codes to read the messages of the users.

That is why thousands of Russians, including the main opponent of Vladimir Putin’s government, Alexei Navalni, demonstrated in Moscow on Monday.

The protest, authorized by the mayor’s office, gathered some 8,000 people in the center of the Russian capital, according to estimates by the police and organizers, a relatively high figure for a concentration of the opposition in this country.

Founded in 2013 by the brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, creators of the social network VKontakte, Telegram benefited, thanks to the security it offers its users, of the debates in recent years about the protection of privacy when using new technologies. .

Telegram currently has 200 million users worldwide, 7% of which are in Russia, according to Pavel Durov.