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Iran regime orders foreign social media to hand over data on Iranian citizens

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NCRI – Iran’s fundamentalist regime has set a one-year deadline for international social media, in particular Telegram, to hand over data on their Iranian users, the official state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

It said the decision was taken on Saturday at a session of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, a committee on the use of cyberspace headed by the mullahs’ President Hassan Rouhani that serves as the regime’s IT regulator.

The Mehr news agency, affiliated to the regime’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), reported on Sunday: “At a meeting of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, chaired by President Hassan Rouhani, it was decided that all foreign social media active in the country must within one year transfer to Iran all the data they hold [on Iranian citizens].”

In a separate report, Mehr said that Telegram, an instant messaging app with more than 20 million users in Iran, would have to provide all its data on Iranian users if it wants to continue to operate in Iran.

“Based on a directive approved last night at the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, foreign social media active in the country must transfer to Iran all the data they hold on Iranian citizens in order be able to continue their operations. Therefore Telegram must hand over to Iran its data on Iranian users,” it said.

The report added that more than 80 percent of the world’s Telegram users are based in Iran.

IRNA said the committee had also decided to work to develop homegrown social media to compete with foreign networks.

Authorities in Iran, where Facebook and Twitter are officially banned although users can gain access with easily available software, have for years tried to impose curbs on Iranians using social media.

Based in part on wire reports