Iran orders foreign social media and instant messaging companies to use servers in the country to store all data related to the Iranian citizens.

The Iranian Government spends a significant effort for the Internet monitoring and control, its activities often lead to a concrete censorship. Last year the Government of Teheran has blocked Telegram and many other social networking companies due to their refusal in helping it to monitor its citizens.

According to the Reuters, the Iranian authorities intend to tighter controls on all foreign messaging and social media apps that operate in Iran.

The government is requesting to these companies to use servers in the country to store all data related to the Iranian citizens.

May 29 Iran has given foreign messaging apps a year to move data they hold about Iranian users onto servers inside the country, prompting privacy and security concerns on social media.” reported the Reuters.

“Foreign messaging companies active in the country are required to transfer all data and activity linked to Iranian citizens into the country in order to ensure their continued activity,” Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace said in new regulations carried by state news agency IRNA on Sunday.

iran censorship

Foreign messaging and social media companies that operate in Iran would need to set up data centers in the country within one year. It is easy to imagine the repercussion on their affairs, many users will decide to leave their services.

According to the Reuters, the decision of the Iranian authorities will have a significant impact of the popular messaging app Telegram that is very popular in the country. Media estimated Telegram has about 20 million users in Iran, roughly 25 percent of the total Iranian population.

Even if the companies will accept to move the data into Iranian data centers, the Iranian government will not be able to access users data because these services implement end-to-end encryption.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Iran, Internet monitoring)

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