Iran reveals strategy to enforce stricter internet regulations to boost indigenous platforms | Internet News

In Tehran, Iran, a recent directive from Iran’s top internet governing body reveals authorities’ plans to guide Iranians away from foreign platforms and towards local ones. The Supreme Council of Cyberspace released new rules, approved by Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei, that prohibit the use of VPNs without a legal permit, referring to them as “refinement-breaking tools”.

Although social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Telegram are banned in Iran, they remain popular among millions of users who use circumvention tools like VPNs to access them. The directive also calls for collaboration among ministries to incentivize content creators and businesses to use local platforms, aiming to bring at least half of the audience to local platforms within six months.

Additionally, the directive mandates government services to be offered exclusively on local platforms within six months. Plans to allow access to foreign services in a governable format and the use of “shells” of foreign platforms have been met with concerns over privacy and data security.

Despite the backlash online, authorities maintain that the regulations do not target the general public but rather top state entities. The directive marks a significant shift in Iran’s internet landscape, with efforts to limit the use of foreign platforms and promote local alternatives.

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