WILMap: Iran

LEGISLATION

 
[The Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) serves as the centralized authority regarding policymaking, decision-making, and coordination in the realm of cyberspace. All state agencies - not excluding the Iranian Parliament - are required to cooperate with the SCC. This effectively grants the SCC unilateral authority regarding Iran's internet policy and the power to compel other government agencies, e.g., the Committee for Determining Instances of Criminal Web Content, to issue policies and verdicts at the SCC's will.]
 
 
[(1Article 21 of Iran's Computer Crimes Law (CCL) imposes liability on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that fail to filter internet content that “generates crime.” Penalties for the violating the crime depend on the ISP's intention and number of prior offenses, and include fines and liquidation of the ISP.
 
(2) The legality of online content is determined a body created in Article 22 of the CCL, now known as the Committee for Determining Instances of Criminal Web ContentArticle 23 charges ISPs with implementing the orders of the Committee and imposes a reporting requirement on ISPs to inform the Committee upon encountering illegal content. 
 
(3) Additionally, Articles 15 and 17 do not specifically reference ISP liability, but could be referenced in cases against them. Article 15 outlaws facilitating others’ access to obscene content, with "obscene" left very loosely defined. Article 17 criminalizes the use of a computer or telecommunication system to make available someone else’s personal images, audio, or video files without their consent in a way that brings disrepute to that person.]
 

Administrative Regulations

Regulatory Entity: Supreme Council of Cyberspace
 
[The Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) was established by the order of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As stated in the SCC's charter, the body is tasked with writing the policies that govern the usage of internet exchange points (IXPs) and content for filtering.]
 
Regulatory Entity: Committee for Determining Instances of Criminal Web Content
 
[Under the Computer Crimes Law, the Committee for Determining Instances of Criminal Web Content (CDICWC) is the regulatory entity, which is entitled to issue orders against ISPs regarding the legality, blocking and removal of online content. The orders of the CDICWC do not involve judicial review and the ISPs must comply under severe penalties. The CDICWC is under the authority of the Supreme Court of Cyberspace.]

BILLS AND PENDING PROPOSALS

[There are currently no known new legislative proposals on the issue of intermediary liability.] 

DECISIONS

[There are currently no known cases that have been brought before courts on the issue of intermediary liability. Reports of a southern Iranian court summoning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to trial in May 2014 were later denied by the Chief Prosector of the Shiraz province. Howeve, acting under the order of the SCC, the regulatory entity CDICWC has issued verdicts against a number of messaging platforms and social media sites. These verdicts do not involve lawsuits, but are instructions for filtering issued by the CDICWC and implemented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (ICT Ministry).]

Administrative procedures

Committee for Determining Instances of Criminal Web Content, Administrative Procedures
 
[Since 2009, the CDICWC has issued decisions regarding in the intermittent blocking of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and WeChat. In Febraury 2014, the CDICWC also stated it is considering blocking the app Viber, though it had not yet reached a decision.]

OTHER RESOURCES

Small Media, Iranian Internet Infrastucture and Policy Reports, http://smallmediafoundation.com/term/1/11

CONTRIBUTORS

Hannah Chartoff
Email: hmchartoff at gmail.com

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