Iran's large numbers of mobile phone users face a further infringement on their right to privacy under new government measures.

According to a report published by the Government Information Center on January 26, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has set up a Contents Working Group to monitor and inspect SMS messages.

In a session held in the Higher Council of Cyberspace on Wednesday January 14, the formation of the “Monitoring and Inspection of SMS Working Group” was approved.

According to the report, the working group, which is headed up by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, consists of representatives from a range of ministries, including those overseeing communication and information technology, the interior, justice, health, Islamic propaganda, and security. It also includes a representative from the General Prosecutor’s office, and the National Centre of Cyberspace. The group is under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Its brief is to monitor and inspect the contents of SMS messages to make sure they “comply with the rules and regulations of the country and Islamic Iranian values”.

The Government Information Center report, published on January 26, says the cyberspace council held the meeting “due to progress in the IT sector and the huge amount of messages used by advertising companies” as well as for the regulation of “the content of messages.”

Following extensive debate, the Higher Council approved a number of policies.

The monitoring group is to report to the secretary of the Higher Council of Cyberspace every six months.

In its next session, the council is due to discuss mass SMS advertising and surplus value services in communication networks.

 

Read the original article in Persian

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