Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Iran summons Mark Zuckerberg, blocks Instagram and WhatsApp

Iran has ordered Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in court to answer complaints by individuals who say Facebook-owned applications Instagram and WhatsApp violate their privacy.

The order which was deliver by judge in southern Iran also ordered the two apps blocked. It is highly unlikely that Zuckerberg would appear in an Iranian court, since there is no extradition treaty between Iran and the United States. Some Iranian courts have in recent years issued similar rulings that could not be carried out.

Facebook is already officially banned in the country, along with other social websites like Twitter and YouTube, as well as their mobile apps. However, some senior leaders like Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are active on Twitter, and many Iranians use proxy servers to access banned websites and applications.

The administration of moderate President Hassan Rouhani is opposed to blocking such websites before authorities create local alternatives. Social media has offered a new way for him and his administration to reach out to the West as it negotiates with world powers over the country’s contested nuclear program.

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