Iranian Blog-Hosting Service Protects Its Users PrivacyAdded: Sunday, May 18th, 2014
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
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Iran’s cyberpolice was refused by the local blog-hosting service, when the former demanded it disclose private information about its user. Bayan, an IT company from Tehran, was approached by Iran’s cyberpolice, known as Fata, which asked to reveal the log records for one blogger.
The IT firm refused, pointing out that it could not pass on the logs and details due to its users’ right to privacy under Iranian law. The company had to explain the cyberpolice that their request could only be met after passing through a judiciary court. Bayan has published the exchange of communications on its website, and this move prompted praise among Internet users in the country who see it as a rare intent to uphold their rights.
The Fata’s head asked the director of the IT firm to immediately disclose the log details behind the blog, but this could have potentially revealed both the user’s identity and his IP address. Bayan had to cite Iran’s cyberspace law passed by the Parliament and tell that it would be illegal to comply with the request without a court order. The IT firm emphasized that protecting citizens’ privacy is one of the main principles of their security online. The cyberpolice keeps insisting on its request but thus far without any result.
The blog-hosting service identifies itself as a private company, but it is unclear if it is affiliated to any political institution in the country. Perhaps, revelations about NSA surveillance had encouraged the company to be wary of disclosing personal details about its user.
Blogosphere is quite active in Iran, even though lots of websites, including Twitter and Facebook, are blocked there. Users massively access blocked services via proxy or VPNs.
The country's cyber police brought embarrassment for the authorities two years ago, when one of the arrested bloggers died while in custody. Until last year, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology was in charge of policing the Iran’s Internet community. Then the supreme leader ordered to set up the supreme council of virtual space and made it difficult to keep the promises of President on lifting ban on social networks.
Some people remain behind bars in the country on the web-related issues. The most popular case is several employees of the Iranian gadget news website, who have been in prison for 6 months with no information about their current situation.
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