Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Iran threatens to shut down Telegram social media app

Iran threatens to shut down Telegram social media app

"What's clear is the fact that the good capacity created for developing entrepreneurship, job market, and business was abused by a small group and the consequences were visible in the last days", said Minister of Communications and Information Technology (ICT) Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi.

"Google has chosen to adhere to the strictest letter of the law regarding sanctions in Iran, and by doing so they are blocking Iranians from this service", Mr. Anderson said. But economic sanctions imposed on the country have made access to some of those tools more hard, said Collin Anderson, a cybersecurity researcher who planned to publish a report this week about Iran's capabilities. Calls for violence are prohibited on Telegram. "We consider freedom of speech an undeniable human right, and would rather get blocked in a country by its authorities than limit a peaceful expression of alternative opinions".

The Iranian government reportedly blocked social media and internet services on Sunday (31 December).

But much has changed in the intervening years when it comes to the communication tools used by Iranian citizens for organizing and publicizing protests. The Iranian protests have since spread primarily to cities and towns along Iran's western border, with Iraq.

Access to Telegram, which the government has accused of being used to foment violence during the protests, was cut in the early afternoon, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency and other media. He notes the dominance of Mashad by religious hardliners who sought to take advantage of the population's legitimate economic grievances to score points against the Rouhani government, but have lost control of them because of economic grievances.

And by later the same day, Durov had apparently confirmed the problem and announced that Telegram would suspend the channel. Not the first time though-Facebook was banned in 2009 by the Iranian government after protests erupted following the reelection of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad has since joined the app. But jailbroken phones and apps can not be updated, leaving their users open to hackers and government monitors that take advantage of bugs in outdated software.

While authorities ban social media websites like Facebook and Twitter and censor others, Telegram users can say almost anything.

The Chinese government, which maintains strict controls over the internet and social media, blocked mainland access to Instagram and posts related to the demonstrations on popular Chinese messaging sites like Weibo and Wechat.

Telegram also touts its end-to-end encryption, meaning every device with Telegram installed has its own encryption keys, which in theory would prevent a government that intercepted Telegram messages from being able to read them. "Even in working hours, internet is not really that normal".

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