Filtering SMS Communication in Iran

Stop Fundamentalism – While the Iranian Ministry of Communication is officially filtering internet, SMS message filtering has not been yet confirmed by authorities. But some observations by Iranian service subscribers show that such system is in place and being used. 

A member of the Iranian parliament (Majlis), Ali Akbar Olia told reporters today that “There seems to be a problem with the SMS system.”  He refused to call it censorship.  “For example if you include the word ‘meeting’ in your SMS, it will not be sent.”

The state-run ISNA news agency in Iran said today that SMS messages containing some predetermined keywords are being blocked automatically in Iran.  The news agency says that words such as “parliament member” or “date” that may be considered sensitive by the Iranian government being denied service.

 The report does not mention if subscriber are informed about the words and if there is a list of these words available publicly.

Iran’s Communications minister however denies any involvement and blames the problems that some messages are not being sent to technical issues relating to mobile devices used.  “Some mobile phones can’t send messages in Farsi,” he said, “or they send them partially.”  He also blamed the problems to viruses in the controlling systems. 

The Iranian minister refused to confirm that usage of some specific words are causing the messages to be blocked.