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EghtesadOnline: Iran has unveiled a modified version of Android, which Iranian officials claim is a more secure version of the operating system.

Information Technology Organization Chief Amir Nazemi earlier this week told reporters, “Officials, who need to be more security-cautious, are the primary users of the operating system. It will be available for public use, but is not expected to be employed by more than 8% of Iranian Android users.”

According to Nazemi, the effort has been mostly focused on creating a more secure OS. He is of the opinion that when you make an operating system more secure, it will take a toll on speed and user experience, which are certain to demotivate normal users from embracing the Iranian version.

The OS has not been released for the review of independent experts, according to Financial Tribune.

ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said, “The operating system has been designed to counter any likely US ban on users and startups.”

Over the past few years, mobile applications developed by Iranian tech firms have been occasionally banned from app markets like Apple’s App Store and Google Play service.

Apple has often cited US sanctions as the reason for removing Iranian apps from its App Store service. However, the Google’s case differs fundamentally.

Few months ago, Google removed two Telegram forks developed by an unknown entity in Iran, classifying the apps named Telegram Talaii and Hotgram as malware.

Prior to Google’s move, local and foreign experts have repeatedly cautioned users against employing these forks.

Despite being blocked by the Iranian authorities, Telegram is the most popular social media platform in Iran with close to 40 million users. 

After the service was banned in Iran, users widely started employing VPN and proxy services for connecting to Telegram. Irrespective of warnings, some people also turned to the locally developed forks that could be used without a VPN.

Android users some months ago received a notification on their handsets that marked the apps as insecure and uninstalled them from their smartphones.

 

Iran Android Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi Locally Modified operating system