Wednesday 20th Feb 2019 

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News: Iranian society

Iran's IRGC makes millions of dollars selling Internet anti-filtering software

NCRI - The Iranian regime's Revolutionary Guards Corp – one of the bodies responsible for website filtering within the regime – is also making millions of dollars a year selling anti-filtering software, a state-run website has revealed.

Tabnak news website - which later removed the story - wrote on April 1: "A mafia is benefiting by some 40 million tomans (13 million dollars) each month from selling anti-filtering software."

The website - owned by former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei - did not name any mafia members, however, according to many reports IRGC plays the major role in filtering websites as well as selling the anti-filtering software.

A journalist affiliated to Hassan Rouhani's faction wrote on his Facebook page: "The monthly income from the sale of anti-filtering software in the country reaches 100 billion tomans (34 million dollars)."

Three bodies are responsible for carrying cyber repression within Iran: the Supreme Council for Cyberspace, the Organized Crime Surveillance Centre and the Revolutionary Guards.

The Supreme Council for Cyber-Space was formed in March 2012 on the orders of Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. The council includes senior military and political leaders including the speaker of the Majlis (parliament), the head of the judiciary, the minister of Culture, the minister of Intelligence and Security, the commander of the IRGC, and the attorney general.

The policies and decisions of the Supreme Council for Cyberspace are applied and carried out by the Working Group for Identifying Criminal Content. Six of Hassan Rouhani's ministers are members of the group. Since it was created, it has ordered the closure of hundreds of news sites.

The IRGC controls the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), the main Internet service provider in Iran. The TCI is also responsible for ordering the blocking of websites.

On March 12, the UN Secretary General said in a report on the situation of human rights in Iran that thousands of websites are filtered in Iran. But he said the one exception is government officials, who have access to all websites.

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