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The Iranian government has just given apps with data on Iranian users a year to move that data onto Iran-based servers, Reuters has reported. The move is a bid to keep closer tabs on conversations being conducted by Iranian citizens and crack down on the sharing of what the government considers “immoral content.”
“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,” said Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace in the new regulations.
While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked in Iran, messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram have proven popular. Both of these apps have end-to-end encryption, although with Telegram it’s optional and disabled by default. In November last year, Iranian authorities arrested administrators of over 20 groups on Telegram for spreading “immoral content.”