Iran has announced that all social media sites must store any data relating to Iranian citizens only on servers inside the country’s borders.
The country’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace has explained that “foreign messaging companies active in the country are required to transfer all data and activity linked to Iranian citizens into the country in order to ensure their continued activity.”
Reuters reports that organizations have a year to comply. It’s expected that Telegram will be hit particularly hard: Around a quarter of all Iranian citizens use the service. The announcement has sparked concern amongst social media users in the country, many of whom suspect that it’s a ploy to gain access to information about users.
Iran has incredibly strict digital controls in place. In the past, it’s even considered unplugging from the Internet, hiding, and making its own network.