Iran Bans Use of Telegram Messaging Service
Iran’s government has ordered internet service providers to block the messaging service Telegram.
Iranian state television said on Monday that the country’s judiciary approved the order in interests of national security. Iran has an estimated 40 million Telegram users – about half its population.
The Fars news agency said the blocking of Telegram should include a way to prevent users from accessing it with a virtual private network, or VPN, or any other software program. A VPN uses software to link to private computer networks outside the country to make it appear that the device or computer is based overseas.
Iran had been considering banning the service since January, when CRItics of the government’s economic policies demonstrated in many cities. Some Iranian officials accused the protesters of using Telegram to organize and briefly blocked the app.
The official website of Iran’s judiciary, Mizan, published details of the latest court order. It said the messaging service had been used to spread “propaganda against the establishment“ and to organize “terrorist activities.“
At least 25 people were killed and more than 5,000 arrested during the demonstrations. The protests were eventually contained by Iranian military forces.