The Iranian Supreme Council of Cyberspace has given non-Iranian companies one year to store all of its citizens data locally, based on the “guidelines and concerns of the supreme leader.”
The exact test is that: “Foreign messaging companies active in the country are required to transfer all data and activity linked to Iranian citizens into the country in order to ensure their continued activity.” The new regulations were delivered by the Iranian state news agency, IRNA.
One instant messaging application that is at potential risk of the new regulations is Telegram, where it is estimated that one quarter of Iran’s eighty million population use the messaging application. Telegram’s cloud based, secure messaging platform is seen as the main reason why it has become a very popular platform.
It remains to be seen how Telegram, and other social platforms, will react to this news. Will they move local data to local data centres on Iranian soil? With Telegram being a cloud based system, the concept of locating user data in a particular geographical site may not be considered realistic and it is possible that Telegram will be a much harder messaging service to access by the middle of 2017.