Roohollah Zam, an exiled Iranian journalist who once served in the government, has been using channels on anonymous messaging app Telegram to organise protests and spread videos of the unrest. Meet Dating app iran Zam, an exiled journalist and former government policy adviser who has been using channels on Telegram to plan protests and share videos of unrest. But that only prompted him to set up a multitude of other channels before the whole app, used by an estimated 40million people in Iran, was cut off by the regime. Iran has accused Zam of inciting violence, allegations he denies, and said the move was necessary to restore public order.
It’s hard to overstate the power of Telegram in Iran. Of its 80 million people, around half use the free app created by Russian national Pavel Durov. Its clients share videos and photos, subscribing to groups where everyone from politicians to poets broadcast to fellow users. While authorities ban social media websites like Facebook and Twitter and censor others, Telegram users can say nearly anything. In the last presidential election, the app played a big role in motivating turnout and spreading political screeds. Telegram touts itself as being highly encrypted and allows users to set their messages to ‘self-destruct’ after a certain period, making it a favorite among activists and others concerned about their privacy.
That too has made it a worry of Iranian authorities. Posts included times and locations for protests, as well as videos of demonstrators shouting inflammatory chants, including those targeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate in Iran’s clerically overseen government. Thousands have taken to the streets of several cities over the past three days to vent anger at high unemployment and rising prices, in the largest demonstrations since those that followed a disputed election nine years ago. Officials have meanwhile targeted Telegram in recent remarks, with prosecutors going as far as filing criminal charges against Durov. Id”:”7778522352105963997″,”descr”:”Iranian protesters took to the streets of Arak on the third day of nationwide anti-government protests against rising food prices, unemployment and alleged corruption and set fire to a Police station. Molotov cocktails, armed uprising and social unrest.
Durov responded by saying Telegram suspended the account. Molotov cocktails against police and got suspended due to our ‘no calls for violence’ rule. Be careful – there are lines one shouldn’t cross. Zam, who has said he fled Iran after being falsely accused of working with foreign intelligence services, denied inciting violence on Telegram. Telegram’s decision drew criticism from free internet advocates and Iranians. Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed U. 2013, said Telegram should instead be working on how to make the service accessible after a potential government ban.
Telegram will face increasing pressure over time to collaborate with the Iranian government’s demands for this or that,’ Snowden wrote on Twitter. He added: ‘You can’t keep an independent, destabilizing service from being blocked in authoritarian regimes, you can only delay it. Id”:”6599360913387991525″,”descr”:”Police in Iran use a water cannon to disperse the protestors in the city of Tehran. Once there were more people chanting, police used the water cannon and gatherers began leaving the area. Iranian state television later quoted an anonymous official as saying the app would be temporarily limited as a safety measure. It also marks a setback for Zam, the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a reformist who once served in a government policy position in the early 1980s. I found that you crossed the red line,’ the cleric wrote, referring to comments the channel circulated about Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Our red line is the supreme leader, but you passed the red line. Zam did not respond to a request for comment Sunday from The Associated Press, though he published a video late Saturday on the channel being blocked. Unfortunately the Amadnews was blocked,’ Zam said in a message to his followers. A new channel ‘will continue its work as hard as before and with the help of God, we will become millions again. 7 million people have viewed the first message on the new channel, according to Telegram. It called for protests Sunday at sites across Iran before the government ordered the app shut down.