Tehran, Iran, July 16
The servers of two domestic applications Hotgram and Talagram, used by the government to ban messaging app Telegram, are moved to the central building of Ministry of Information and Communications Technology of Iran, a commander said.
Head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali criticized the Iranian government for refusing to support local messaging apps, noting, “Telegram’s servers are given to Hotgram and Talagram. They could have been given to local apps”.
They are now based at the ninth floor of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), he told Young Journalists Club.
The government had promised to provide financial support for local messaging apps, including Soroush but no help yet, Jalali further said.
“We do not need financial help as we can handle it ourselves with the help of domestic sponsors. What we want from the government is to determine its policy with respect to messaging apps,” the general said.
Recently, Iran's Deputy Prosecutor General Abdolsamad Khorramabadi said more than 30 million Iranians continue to access the banned Telegram using Hotgram and Talagram.
Hotgram and Talagram are two messaging apps produced by the Iranian company Rahkar Sarzamin Hooshmand using Telegram’s open source code and servers.
Khorramabadi labeled the apps as “anti-filtering” programs and called the communications ministry an accomplice since it was providing the apps unfiltered internet.
Telegram, the most popular messaging app in Iran was blocked on April 30 by an order of Iran’s judiciary. More than half Iran's 80 million were using Telegram for various reasons.