Iran court summons Facebook's Zuckerberg

Iran court summons Facebook's Zuckerberg

Summary: A court in Fars province has called for Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to address alleged privacy violations caused by Instagram and WhatsApp in Iran.


An Iranian judge has summoned Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer allegations his company's apps have breached people's privacy.

In a case that underscores the gulf between Iranian moderates, who seek fewer internet restrictions, and conservatives who want more, the Silicon Valley leader has been dubbed the "Zionist manager" of Facebook, on account of his Jewish heritage.

The court in Fars province ordered that Zuckerberg address unspecified "violation of privacy" claims made by Iranians over the reach of Facebook-owned apps, ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Access to social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, are routinely blocked by Iranian authorities, as are other websites considered un-Islamic or detrimental to the regime.

"Based on the judge's verdict, the Zionist manager of Facebook ... should report to the prosecutor's office to defend himself and make compensation for damages," Rouhollah Momen-Nasab, a senior Iranian internet security official, told ISNA.

"Following a complaint lodged by some of our fellow countrymen over the violation of their privacy and problems ensuing from WhatsApp and Instagram, the judiciary official has ordered a ban on these two software devices," he said.

Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp.

The report did not say what violations of privacy are alleged to have occurred.

President Hassan Rouhani, a self-declared moderate, has promised greater tolerance on social, cultural and media issues — a vow that helped him defeat conservatives in last year's election.

But his fledgling push has been opposed by traditionalists and ultra-conservatives that hold sway in the establishment and key institutions.

Topics: Legal, Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Um..yea, that not gonna happen

    Thanks for the laugh.
  • Um..yea, that not gonna happen

    Thanks for the laugh.
  • Towel heads

    If brains were dynamite they would not have enough to blow their nose.
  • Must be nice to be an Iranian judge..

    "The Zionist developers of developers of 'Hello Kitty's Styling Salon' are ordered to report to the 3rd district's Sharia court and explain how my daughter Fatima managed to spend 53 dinars on in-app purchases of coins when I lent her my iPhone on a long trip during our last vacation. Potential punishments might include death by stoning, death by decapitation, and death by crucifixion (with time of for good behavior). The Zionist mangers of Apple's iOS app store are also order to appear, bringing along their first born male heirs for an unspecified legal judgment whose terms shall be spelled out when they are present before the judge."
  • I'm guessing one of two things will happen

    1. Nothing.
    2. FB will hire an Iranian lawyer to appear on Mr. Zuckerberg's behalf (he has the money, so why not?).

    The US certainly isn't going to extradite one of its citizens to a country with which it doesn't even have diplomatic relations; and which has been its avowed enemy for the past 35 years.
    John L. Ries
    • Let's go back further than 35 years

      To 1953, when the U.S. government, at the request of the British government, brought the democratic Iranian government down and installed the Shah.

      This will come to no more than the U.S. DOJ recently going after members of the Chinese military for alleged cyber-criminal activity.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • All true

        But all involved are now dead, we still have the problem, and there isn't likely to be anything we could do to satisfy the Iranian hardliners short of a declaration of war against Israel. In short, normalization of relations is probably impossible as long as Ayatollah Khamenei remains in charge.

        I don't propose to anything to make relations worse (except for necessary nuclear non-proliferation), and I certainly don't propose going to war with them, but this is not a happy relationship and is only likely to improve incrementally in the near term.
        John L. Ries