Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 9
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
A group of Iranian officials and experts have expressed concerns over economic implications of imposing ban on Telegram messaging app in Iran.
“Most of small-sized businesses in our country use Telegram and Instagram for advertisement, marketing and communication with customers,” Abbas Baghban, an Iranian android developer, told Trend.
“In the meantime, there are a number of businesses based in Telegram performing as a virtual store and in some cases as the online content businesses. In fact, blocking access to these apps would eventually lead these groups of entrepreneurs to lose their jobs,” he added.
Iranian officials due to security reasons decided to impose ban on Telegram over the past week after political unrests hit the country.
The unrests began after economic protests turned into anti-government demonstrations, claiming the lives of at least 21, including security forces.
Saying that the accurate statistics on the number of individuals involved in such businesses in Iran is not available, Baghban estimated that about one million people have been benefiting from small-sized online businesses through the banned app in his country.
“However, a group of users access the apps through proxy websites and virtual private networks (VPN), which put their data at risk,” he added.
Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned against the hurdles the decision would cause.
“There is a small group of people who always misuse any tools and technology, but we cannot remain indifferent about the businesses of the people and permanently restrict them,” Rouhani tweeted on Monday.
Morteza Mousavian, the head of Iran’s digital media center, has said that 19,000 Telegram channels have been authorized through SHAMAD system in the country, out of which 9,000 channels were involved in online sells of goods and services.
SHAMAD is an online certificate created by Iranian authorities to verify the activities of content creators on the web.
According to the digital media center, those 9,000 Telegram channels that are involved in small-sized businesses have suffered serious hurdles over the past week following the recent political unrests in the country.