The Iranian Regime is ready to filter the popular photo and video-sharing social network Instagram, according to an Iranian judicial official.
Javid Javidnia, the head of the Virtual Space Department of Iran’s Attorney General’s Office, said in an interview with the state-run Peivast monthly that a court order to filter Instagram had been issued with the agreement of most members of the Supreme Council of Virtual Space, the body charged with overseeing Iran’s internet.
Javidnia said that Iranian traffic to Instagram had surpassed the limit set by the Supreme Council of Virtual Space, which triggered the court’s decision.
He said: “According to the Supreme Council of Virtual Space, the government had to issue a permit for this social media to be active in the country, and a permit has not been issued… Instagram was filtered once before and the last government said that they could control this space with smart filtering but unfortunately, high costs were incurred without any results. Now we have an order to filter this service with a majority of Virtual Space Supreme Council members in favour of the filter.”
The plan, which is currently going through the Iranian Parliament, involves “the filtering of illegal messengers”, proposes giving the Iranian military and security forces access to personal information of the users, bans Iranians from doing business via foreign messengers, and allows prison sentences for those who make pages, profiles, groups, or chats without permission.
The plan has been signed by a number of so-called moderate representatives in the parliament, proving that there are no moderates in the Regime.
In a December 30 meeting with Iran’s internet police and the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Tehran MP and Vice-President of the Cultural Commission Fatemeh Zolghadr said that the Cultural Commission had halted a plan to “manage messengers”.
He advised that the plan to filter Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, violated Iranian laws and would create “a security atmosphere”. Although, one could well argue that blocks on other social networking sites, internet censorship, and the crackdown on freedom of expression via any means have already created a security atmosphere.
However, Javidnia said that the Judiciary could filter Instagram in a unilateral measure anyway, but is prepared to wait, at least for now, for a general consensus.
He said: “We are currently waiting for a consensus in this regard but if waiting proves useless, the Attorney General will make the necessary decision.”
The real reason for the Regime’s reaction is that Instagram is being used by some activists to plan or publicise protests, but this desperate action by the mullahs will not stop Regime change.
Source: Iran News WIre