Generals in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have urged parliament to pass the Legislation to Protect Cyberspace Users’ Rights, a proposed bill which aims to limit the use of Instagram and other social media networks in the country, Iran International reported.
Parliament member Abbas Moradi said the bill aims to make Iranian users of Instagram emigrate to a new domestic platform. Instagram is the only major social network not blocked in Iran.
Moradi admitted that there is no domestic platform like Instagram at the moment, but he has promised the launch of what he released as “Instagram Plus” which he said would be “safe.”
Moradi aimed that the bandwidth currently used by Instagram users will gradually be reduced in proportion to extent of its substitution by the domestic version.
Iranians have collected 800,000 online signatures against the proposed law which further restricts access to the internet.
An IRGC general has said that it is in the interest of those who complain “to engage in debauchery on cyberspace.”
IRGC Brigadier-General Mohammad-Reza Naghdi urged members of parliament to end the “shameful situation” of “the hegemony of foreigners on Iranian cyberspace.”
The legislation would require foreign-owned social networking and messaging corporations to appoint an Iranian representative, agree to comply with Iranian laws and regulations and officially register subscribers, and provide this information to the authorities if requested.
This could result in further steps to completely ban major social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram unavailable in Iran. Except for Instagram all other major Western platforms are already blocked.
Protests against the regime in Iran have been going on since mid-July and social media is a major factor both in mobilizing the people and also informing the world about the events and government crackdow.