Telegram filtering disputed

In less than 140 characters, Telegram breaks the news: “Local network providers are limiting Telegram traffic in Iran. We are trying to find out the reasons.”
Such reads one of the private messaging app’s latest tweets posted on June 30, news website Khabar Online wrote on Tuesday.

As the precursors to Telegram—WeChat, WhastApp, Line and Viber—were either declining in performance, experiencing network interference or altogether filtered in Iran, flocks of users swiftly migrated to Telegram taking their private messaging businesses along.

Telegram has garnered over 60 million active users in only 18 months. It recently released a desktop version of its cellphone app to allow users to create an account even without having previously used the app on a smartphone or tablet.

What sets Telegram apart from other messaging apps is its attention to security, which is what attracted Iranian businessmen and stockbrokers in the first place.
Iranian users have, however, been complaining about limited access to Telegram.

Vaezi’s Comeback
After Telegram’s tweet went viral, Mahmoud Vaezi, minister of communications and information technology, was prompted to issue a denial on Cloob (the Iranian social networking website), ISNA reported.

“We, at the Ministry of Telecoms, are well aware of how essential these applications are to everyone, that is precisely why we have spared no effort to sustain them. By no means do we intend to limit access now,” Vaezi said.

In the meantime, the minister urged people not to rely on and share information coming from “unreliable sources.”

This is not the first time Vaezi gets involved in private messaging app/social media network issues. In mid-June, he made public comments about the “unethical” sticker packages that had spread on Telegram.

He warned that “legal measures can and will be taken against those who spread such offensive content.”

In line with the ministry’s policies for countering potential acts of cyber-threat, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Iran closely monitors all social media websites and applications, Vaezi said at the time.

The sticker packages seemed to have insulted high-ranking Iranian figures.

Last Monday, the CEO of Telecommunications Company of Iran Alireza Seydi also said that it is “technically impossible to limit access to one specific network.”
Filtering and enforcing restrictions on social media websites do not fall under the responsibilities of TCI, he said, adding that unlimited access to messaging applications in reality boosts revenue for the company, as users need to buy Internet packages to use the apps.

By Financial Tribune