On July 3rd, Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran’s Minister of Communication attended a session at Iran’s parliament to answer questions from the people’s representatives. During the session Vaezi addressed the recent incident about Irancell’s database leak.

During the parliament session, Iran’s Minister of Communications cited the news about Irancell’s database leak which exposed 20 million of the operator’s user data on the internet. Vaezi stated that this incident happened three years ago by an employee of an organization which Irancell had given the information to. This incident made the news once again when a bot on Telegram distributed the user’s personal data, such as home address and National ID when given the person’s mobile phone number. Later it was announced that the bot was made by a 19 year old teenager.

 

Vaezi also stated that Iran must become one of the three leading countries in the region in the IT sector. “According to statistics, Iran’s ranking in the previous year in the IT sector was 104 which improved to 96 this year,” said the Iranian Minister. Vaezi also reported that up until four years ago, a rate of $500 billion investments were taken place in the country’s IT sector but the investments reached to 6 thousand 400 billion dollars in the Persian year of 1394 (last year). He also noted that the ICT market size in Iran is worth 42 thousand billion Tomans (12 Billion dollars) which has to reach to nearly 86 thousand billion Tomans (25 Billion dollars) until the end of the country’s “sixth program of development”.

“Fortunately after the implementation of JCPOA good developments were made. In a way that in terms of technology we made a somewhat close relationship with other countries, and in terms of communications we made progress with the purchases,” said Vaezi. After the JCPOA agreement Rouhani’s government signed various contracts with other countries to compensate for the time when the country was under sanctions. Wide-ranging agreements with South Korea for technology developments and with Kazakhstan to cooperate in Iran’s telecommunication sector were some the partnerships which took place recently.

Vaezi also claimed that the Smart Filtering was one of the main achievements of the Ministry of Communications. According to the minister, Smart Filtering lead to a 5% decrease in the number of censored pages views in the Persian year 1392 to 1% at the current time. Using VPN services are decreased from 15% to 5 percent and the visits to the websites with explicit content decreased from 5% to 1%.

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