After sharing its impressive record of 200 million users, the messaging service Telegram has experienced a great blow. The Iranian government is purportedly planning to block the messenger, claiming the steps taken had to do with “national security” matters.
This unwanted news for Telegram follows the company’s lost after appealling in Russia, where the government there ordered the handing over of the company’s encryption keys to them, also citing national security. In Iran’s case, the report comes from Mashreghnews.ir, who quotes Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran.
According to Mr. Boroujerdi, the decision to block Telegram comes from the concern over the service’s “destructive” role in recent protests and civil unrest in Iran. To replace it, Boroujerdi says that the government will institute a new local messaging service.
Telegram was temporarily blocked earlier this year during the height of the unrest, but savvy users continued to access it via VPNs and proxies. It’s likely that this will likely happen again when the official block lands.