Attack by the Iranian Supreme Council of Cyberspace on the right to anonymity and privacy – Internet Filtering – Outlaw VPN – Arrest – Oppress

After weeks of waiting, the Supreme Council of Cyberspace delivered the text of the 9 September meeting as approved by the Council for universal Internet identity authentication and access. The text of the resolution, which deals with the issue of “authentic identity system in the country’s cyberspace,” has received little media attention. Although the Rouhani government’s communications minister pointed to it in his last appearance in parliament, it seems that even Jahromi is reluctant to make the legislation public. The Minister of Communications’ reluctance to attack the bill broadly on Iranian rights in cyberspace is not. Azeri Jahromi is well aware that media coverage of the document will make his and the Rouhani government’s support for the project public.

Iranian Online Identity Authentication

Although the resolution is only four pages long and not very detailed, its implementation will undoubtedly have very detrimental effects on the rights of Iranian citizens in cyberspace and freedom of expression and access to information in Iran. The legislation cites individual rights as one of its goals, but the long-term outlook and policies outlined in this document are the most serious threat to the privacy of cyberspace since Hassan Rouhani’s presidency. Sentences such as “increasing transparency and reducing anonymity in cyberspace” and “any interaction in the cyberspace of the country must begin with a valid ID” and “upgrading and continuing cyber-authentication processes” in this document is beyond doubt. It argues that the primary purpose of this resolution is to end any anonymity in cyberspace.

The Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) was established by the order of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As stated in the SCC’s charter, the body is tasked with writing the policies that govern the usage of internet exchange points (IXPs) and content for filtering.

In the past few months, we have warned in another article that the Ministry of Jahromun may have a plan to disassociate filtering based on validating virtual identities in Iran. While this document does not explicitly say that the filtering structure in Iran is not homogenous, the Supreme Council document explicitly states that all activities in the cyberspace must “lead to a unique individual“.

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Mohammad-Javad-Azari-Jahromi

Another section explicitly states that “any action or participation in the hijacking or impersonation of any of the associated tools and services is prohibited”, a statement that may be intended to put an end to legal uncertainties about using VPN in Iran. If such a statement is the basis for the conduct of the judiciary, in the coming months, we could see a wave of arrests and demonstrations of Iranian users purely for their use of VPN and online encryption.

Link to the actual text

As David Kay current UN Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of freedom of expression and belief in the year 1394 (2017)  reported that the right to freedom of expression and access to information online, anonymity is required. And this is precisely why the Supreme Council of Cyberspace has launched this all-out assault on the right to remain anonymous, the main purpose of which is to create terror among Iranian citizens to access materials and tools outside the Islamic Republic’s cultural and political tradition.

It’s worth pointing out that a data protection bill was also tabled at the meeting, but reports suggest the Supreme Council is unlikely to have even the slightest willingness to support the bill. The adoption of valid identities in cyberspace was passed before entertaining any examination of data protection: Islamic Republican policymakers seek compensation for more than a decade of censorship by destroying cyberspace.

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Jahromi in happier days

Policymakers who are not members of the Supreme Council for Cyberspace and who, if they feel the slightest sense of responsibility for protecting the rights of cyberspace, will only have the opportunity in the coming weeks and months to make a serious effort to block the progress of this legislation.

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Specifically, lawmakers who won the support of foreign messengers in the past year are now responsible for clearly stating their position on the policy. We should not forget, though, that most members of the Supreme Council owe their position only to the leader of the Islamic Republic, but the clerical and directly Azeri Jahromi government should be considered as a crime partner in the design and implementation of this plan.

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Failure to do so will seriously undermine individual and social freedoms in Iran. The government of men who have once tried to silence dissidents and activists through executions, torture and sometimes cyberattacks in recent decades has today resigned themselves to destroying any “anonymity in cyberspace”, Destroy thinking, and speaking out of their narrowly accepted frameworks for Iranian society.

 

From a previous article:

Internet Filtering in Iran

فیلترینگ غیر همسان و آینده اینترنت در ایران

Incompatible filtering and the future of Internet in Iran

Kaveh Azaroush, Senior Researcher at Small Media Institute

In Iran, the use of filtering tools and VPNs remains a controversial issue among authorities. Although it is prohibited by law to sell such tools, the Iranian government has still been unable to prevent widespread use of filter breakers. On Monday, September 2, Jahromi appeared in parliament to answer questions about the issue. Under pressure to find solutions to Iran’s filtering problems, and respond to citizens’ use of filters and record SIM card specifications, the solution once referred to as “inhomogeneous filtering” was reiterated.

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This is not the first time that this idea has been put forward by Jahromi. He first mentioned it in December and said the project was ready to be unveiled. His remarks sparked concern among some Iranians and the media questioned him. A few days later, Jahromi denied the reports. Since then, with reference to Year 2, and the idea of ​​a transitional idea in Parliament, no further information on the plan is publicly available. All that is clear is the potential of the layered filtering scheme to turn it into a serious threat to digital rights and citizenship in Iran.

Here, in this version of the Ribbon Filter reports, we are trying to explain an inappropriate filtering scheme if it is implemented. We argue that given the technological and political developments of the last two years, advocates of digital rights should take Azeri words seriously. According to available information, we are concerned that the proposed filtering plan, while threatening privacy and monitoring user activity, by giving different levels of Internet access privileges to different groups of citizens based on their status, occupation and other factors, It will create a confusing situation that will seriously threaten Iran’s pluralist cyberspace and create a major obstacle to the survival of a democratic information society.

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The idea of ​​non-matched filtering

Due to the lack of official documents, it is still unclear what exactly “inappropriate filtering” is. Azeri Jahromi stated in his speech that the current problem of filtering in Iran is that it imposes the same restrictions on all citizens. This could be interpreted as suggesting that the plan in question aims to provide different degrees of internet access without filtering based on users’ identities and their employment status. It is unclear who can be less censored, how they can access the Internet without filters, and what infrastructure will be used to deliver the system.

Jahromi brought an example to parliament and said students need access to university journals, then asked if it was justified for children to have the same level of filtering as those with specialized jobs. It is unacceptable for the Ministry of Communications to discriminate solely based on job or academic position to give some people more digital rights. They are still receiving a limited amount of unfiltered internet journalists on a smaller scale. It was a plan announced by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Communications on April 1, which granted eight journalists access to the Internet without filtering. The plan was scrapped on August 6, but a Ministry of Culture official announced it would resume its work soon.

Another Azeri-warming filtering system is a special SIM card for children and adolescents. Currently, all mobile companies in Iran offer tailored services for children and adolescents, including special SIM cards that only allow access to a limited number of websites. For example, ” Anarstan ” a commercial project belongs to the ” enterprise  development  management,  strategic  Amin » (Amin SMD) in partnership with the largest mobile phone company in Iran,  Corporate  Communications  Phone  Iran  –  with  the first  ( MCI ), a leading role in the development and He has been promoting these SIM cards. List Published by IranSel, it shows that users of these SIM cards have access to only a handful of websites, which are monitored by institutions such as IRIB and other government agencies as well as religious foundations.

Given the recent implementation of these two projects, and Azeri Jarmi’s enthusiasm for supporting them, it must be concluded that these are prominent indicators of similar policies that shape the future of the filtering regime in Iran. This means that the government is moving away from uniform filtration systems and instead moving to ways that will enforce specific types of censorship for different social groups.

Political backing

As we said earlier, there is still no official documentation on the mismatched filtering scheme. The only document related to a specific policy in this connection that drew our attention to “document identity valid in the virtual” by the ” Council of Higher space virtual ” in Persian date Shahrivar 1398 was approved. When Jahromi was present in parliament, the same document was mentioned in connection with her, a document that has not yet been released to the public and, as a result, cannot be reviewed by civil society activists.

However, in recent years, the need to create and register users’ identities in cyberspace has been addressed in a number of proposed rules. The five bills proposed jointly by the judiciary and the Ministry of Communications indicate that a cyber-identification system is one of the necessities of implementing Hassan Rouhani’s ambitious government plans. Previously, another bill, drafted by the Majlis faction, called for the registration of cyber users in Iran.

Local technology and Internet localization

For a “non-matched” filtering system to be implemented, it must be based on a virtual user authentication regime. It should also prevent the use of filtering tools in Iran. In recent months, significant advances in technology have emerged that facilitate the Iranian government’s efforts to equip such a system.

On July 9, Jahromi Tweets, in which a promotional video was shared, claiming that Sharif University students had produced an internal version of Android (designed under the slogan “built-in Android”). »). Referring to the recent deletion of a number of Iranian apps from the Google Play store, Jahromi stated that the widespread deployment of an internal operating system meant an end to the domination of foreign companies, which made it difficult for Iranians to access native apps.

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