Iran has undertaken one of its most definitive online censorship actions to date, permanently banning Telegram, the overwhelmingly favorite chat app from the country.
Tehran’s special prosecutor’s office for culture as well as also media ordered the country’s internet service provider to block all access to Telegram on Monday, state media announced. By Tuesday morning, reports began pouring in which the service was unusable for many users. The impact was tremendous, said Amir Rashidi, an internet security as well as also digital rights researcher at the Center for Human Rights in Iran.
“The thing which people here need to understand is actually, Telegram is actually not only a messaging app for Iranians. Telegram is actually the internet,” Rashidi told BuzzFeed News.
“They use Telegram on a daily basis in their life. Blocking Telegram in these days in Iran is actually equal to cutting off the global internet,” Rashidi said.
Telegram, which boasts the option of end-to-end encryption, is actually controversial among security experts, who say which its encryption protocol is actually subpar as well as also has never been opened up to genuine expert scrutiny. although its group chats are well-known as well as also easy to use, as well as also which has become especially helpful in a country where most some other apps are blocked.
“There are bots in Iran where they take all the content by Farsi-speaking Twitter accounts as well as also send which over in Telegram channels,” said Nima Fatemi, an Iranian digital security researcher. “So by joining these channels, people can see what’s going on on some other platforms.”
which is actually the second time in three weeks which a country where Telegram is actually extremely well-known has banned which. On April 13, Russia did so, responding to a court order. Initially, the ban’s implementation was a disaster; Telegram used Amazon as well as also Google cloud services to connect with its users in Russia, leading to a game of whack-a-mole in which Russia banned millions of IP addresses, accidentally blocking quite a few some other sites, including, briefly, practically every major social network.
Russia eventually blocked Amazon as well as also Google entirely. Users in both countries can still only reliably access Telegram that has a VPN.
Telegram founder as well as also CEO Pavel Durov has proudly touted Russians’ protests of their government’s ban as well as also the fact which international human rights groups have expressed support for his service. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about Iran’s action.
With Telegram as well as also practically all well-known international chat apps blocked, Iranians are instead incentivized to use government apps, which can be heavily monitored.
“which blocking isn’t about censorship of a messaging app. which’s about disconnecting the working class by accessing information,” Fatemi said. “The Iranian regime wants to be able to control as well as also influence the way they get the news, know what they talk about when they socialize as well as also mobilize, as well as also basically know when to drop the hammer on them as well as also on who if they decide to do anything which might threaten the power.”