Iranian users of the Signal messaging service say the app is blocked

Iranian users of the Signal messaging service said on Monday they lost access to the app on their mobile devices.

Users in several neighborhoods of the capital Tehran and at least three other major cities contacted by The Associated Press said access to the app was gradually blocked starting in the afternoon. They claimed to be able to use the system through virtual private networks, services that protect Internet users by encrypting their data traffic. Some still had access via the desktop version of the app.

State media did not report that the app was blocked, and calls to authorities were not immediately returned on Monday.

It’s unclear how many Signal users there are in Iran, but many migrated to the app after Whatsapp updated its privacy policy in January.

The Iranian government has long blocked access to many websites and social media platforms, from YouTube and Facebook for Twitter and Telegram.

Last week, the Iranian judiciary released the country’s telecommunications minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, on bail after he was summoned for trial. Officials cited his refusal to block Instagram and other foreign social media and messaging systems.

Many Iranians, mostly young people, access social media via VPNs and proxies. Instagram and WhatsApp remain unlocked.

Emerging hardliners in the country’s parliament and other powerful bodies see social messaging services as part of the West’s “soft war” against the Islamic Republic.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

News Highlights:

  • Some still had access via the desktop version of the app, state media did not report that the app was blocked and calls to authorities were not immediately returned on Monday It is not clear how many Signal users there are in Iran but many have migrated the app after Whatsapp updated its privacy policy in January. Iranian government has long blocked access to many websites and social media platforms, from YouTube and Facebook for Twitter and Telegram. Last week, the Iranian judiciary released the country’s telecommunications minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, on bail after he was summoned for trial.
  • Iranian users of the Signal messaging service say the app is blocked