Telegram in Iran

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The Telegram instant messaging service has more than 50 million users in Iran[1] and 60% of the country's Internet's bandwidth is spent on using this app.[2]

Following the disruptions caused by the Iranian government in the Viber[3][4] and Line services, the Iranian people were attracted to Telegram.[5] Security was the most important reason that led to this immigration. Additionally, this service permitted exchanging files up to 1 gigabyte.[6][7]

The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly considered the topic of blocking access to Telegram and has always imposed limitations on users' access. During the protests on December 8, 2017, Telegram was blocked for more than a week and finally became available again on December 23, 2017.[8][9][10] It was reblocked on May 10, 2017 by judicial authorities. In the judicial order of the Tehran Prosecutor's Office, it was said that Telegram must be blocked by ISPs in such a way that it could not be achieved even with tools similar to VPNs.[11]

The two-time experience of blocking Telegram in Iran shows that Iranian users did not migrate to alternative services, such as the foreign WhatsApp, or the domestic Soroush messenger, but resorted to Internet censorship circumvention.[12]

Spying request[edit]

On 20 October 2015, Paul Durov, CEO of Telegram LLC said, after denying the request of Iranian authorities for private information about citizens of the country, Telegram was blocked for hours in Iran, but it was unblocked afterwards.[13] Pavel Durov wrote an answer letter and announced that "Iranian authorities want to use Telegram to spy on their citizens. We can not help them in this regard."[13]

Blocking[edit]

Map of countries in which Telegram is completely blocked or partially
  Completely blocked
  Blocked partially (some ISPs or audio traffic)

Following the Iranian government policy to censor every social network and instant messaging service in Iran, they have continued to disrupt access to Telegram. On Saturday, 19 May 2015, the telecommunication company of Iran blocked Telegram access in some parts of the Tehran province and some other provinces without prior notice.[14][15]

Only one day after Telegram introduced the voice call feature in the messenger, the voice call functionality was completely blocked in Iran.[16] Paul Durov wrote in response to users who had asked about voice calls problems in Iran: "Internet service providers in Iran have blocked it again."[17][18] The low cost of calling using this feature and the subsequent financial losses incurred by the telecommunication network operators, including the stated-owned Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran, may have motivated the block,[19] Although public relations of MTN Irancell announced that the operator has played no role in the disruption of the service.[20]

Following the nationwide protests in Iran in 2017 and 2018, and to prevent rioting, the Supreme National Security Council of Iran decided to cut off all social networks, including Telegram,[21] although it was said to be temporary.[22] On the night of January 23, 2017, the block was lifted.[23][24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Iran blocks video and images on Telegram messaging app - BBC.com
  2. ^ "تلگرام ۶۰ درصد پهنای باند کشور را اشغال کرد". ایسنا (in Persian). September 18, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "موج مهاجرت کاربران تلفن همراه از وایبر به تلگرام/ فرصت مغتنم برای پیام‌رسان‌های ایرانی". خبرگزاری فارس (in Persian). May 5, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  4. ^ انتخاب, پایگاه خبری تحلیلی (May 14, 2014). "وایبر هم بالاخره فیلتر شد". پایگاه خبری تحلیلی انتخاب | Entekhab.ir (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  5. ^ تبیان, موسسه فرهنگی و اطلاع‌رسانی (February 21, 2017). "از وایبر به تلگرام". سایت مؤسسه فرهنگی و اطلاع‌رسانی تبیان (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "آی تی رسان". آی تی رسان (in Persian). June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "جنگ وایبر با تلگرام". ایسنا (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "آخرین خبر - تلگرام مختل شد یا فیلتر؟". آخرین خبر | در کوتاهترین زمان بروزترین باشید (in Persian). June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "مدیر عامل تلگرام: ایران از چهارشنبه دسترسی به تلگرام را محدود کرده است [بروزرسانی: پاسخ وزارت ارتباطات]". زومیت (in Persian). October 21, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  10. ^ ايران, عصر (June 6, 2018). "5 نکته درباره شایعه فیلترینگ "تلگرام"". عصر ايران (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  11. ^ خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران (April 30, 2018). "پایان کار تلگرام در ایران اعلام شد". خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران | آخرین اخبار ایران و جهان | YJC (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  12. ^ Khodabakhshi, Leyla (May 3, 2018). "کاربران ایرانی بعد از فیلتر شدن تلگرام چه می‌کنند؟". BBC Persian (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "تلگرام 'پس از عدم همکاری با دولت ایران موقتا مسدود شد'". BBC Persian (in Persian). October 20, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "تلگرام در آستانه فیلترشدن؟". ITIRAN (in Persian). May 1, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  15. ^ انتخاب, پایگاه خبری تحلیلی (May 10, 2015). "مخابرات تلگرام را مسدود کرد". پایگاه خبری تحلیلی انتخاب | Entekhab.ir (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  16. ^ خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران (April 17, 2017). "دلیل فیلترشدن تماس صوتی تلگرام در ایران". خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران | آخرین اخبار ایران و جهان | YJC (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  17. ^ خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران (April 17, 2017). "دلیل فیلترشدن تماس صوتی تلگرام در ایران". خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران | آخرین اخبار ایران و جهان | YJC (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  18. ^ "Pavel Durov on Twitter". Twitter (in Latin). May 24, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  19. ^ خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران (April 17, 2017). "مکالمه صوتی تلگرام به صورت کامل مسدود شد + دلیل مسدود سازی". خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران | آخرین اخبار ایران و جهان | YJC (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  20. ^ ايران, عصر (June 6, 2018). "تماس صوتی تلگرام نیامده فیلتر شد؟!". عصر ايران (in Persian). Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  21. ^ "تلگرام فیلتر شده است؟/طبیعی است که دست به محدودیت بزنیم". خبرگزاری ایلنا (in Persian). June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  22. ^ "فیلتر تلگرام موقتی است". خبرگزاری ایلنا (in Persian). June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  23. ^ "بازتاب جهانی رفع فیلتر تلگرام - روزنامک". روزنامک (in Persian). January 14, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  24. ^ "پیام‌رسان تلگرام در ایران رفع فیلتر شد". euronews (in Arabic). January 13, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.