The cyberspace services regulation system plan consists of a joint version between the parliamentary user protection plan in July and the proposal proposed by the Ministry of Communications. The new plan has been reduced from 37 articles to 21 articles, and the only major change, in addition to the name change, is the removal of blocking of foreign services. In this plan, any use of external cyberspace services by the executive bodies and their promotion is prohibited, except in cases that are authorized by law approved by the High Commission. On the other hand, another interesting point of this new plan, which was also in the previous plan, is that the income of foreign cyberspace service providers who earn financial benefits from operating in Iran will be taxed. Another concern and criticism of the plan, which went back to the management of the border crossing, has not changed in the plan of January 26, and in this regard, efforts have been made to give the main power to the armed forces.
In the first chapter of this plan, which includes an article, definitions and terms were considered. In this section, small changes can be seen, which are mostly in the letters. For example, if in the July version, there is talk of basic services, now in the 5D version, this word has been changed to national network services. In this section, other items have been added that were previously presented in separate chapters in the definitions section. For example, a regulator or regulator whose definition states “any measure or action of a government which, in accordance with the law, in order to facilitate, develop or organize the activities of the actors of an ecosystem, or to supervise the proper performance of responsibilities and obligations or to guarantee the enforcement of regulations” It is adopted on their violations. The regulator is also an institution that is legally responsible for all or part of the regulatory affairs.
The High Commission’s definition, which was heavily criticized in the July version of the Safeguards Plan, reads: “Coordinating and approving macro-rules and regulations and establishing coordination and monitoring the performance of regulators in all aspects of cyberspace will be designated as the regulator of cyberspace regulators.” In this section, the people who are members of this commission are not mentioned.
Chapter Two: Regulatory System
In this chapter and in Article 2, the High Commission, in addition to the tasks assigned by the council, has duties and powers such as:
- Appoint or create new regulators after approval by the council
- Reform of the regulators with the approval of the council (this section has a note according to which the modification of the mission, merger or removal of regulators formed by law can be done through the parliament).
- Preparation and approval of internal and external traffic management criteria of the country’s cyberspace
- Propose the laws required by the country in the field of cyberspace issues to the government for approval in parliament
- Using the capacity of private sector organizations to regulate areas and issues that do not have a specific regulator (this section has 3 notes, according to which the head of the National Center is obliged to convene the meetings of the High Commission at least monthly or at the written request of at least three The second note states that the decisions of the High Commission and regulators can be appealed to the Administrative Court of Justice, while the third note states that the High Commission’s mechanism for the participation of private sector organizations and obtaining the opinions of cyberspace stakeholders in drafting and finalizing the decisions of the regulators. Provide.)
Article 3, Chapter 2, also refers to the regulators, according to which the regulators are responsible for the scope of their activities and the duties and powers within the framework of the approvals of the council, the laws of the country and the approvals of the High Commission.
Article 4 of this chapter also emphasizes that regulators are required to make the necessary arrangements to achieve goals such as supporting cultural programs and teaching cyberspace literacy to users, supporting the production and dissemination of Bobby content based on Iranian-Islamic culture, and providing healthy services, especially for Children and adolescents to support the migration of content producers to licensed indoor cyberspace services, etc. in their area of activity and based on the duties and powers specified in Article 3 of this law.
Article 5 of this chapter addresses the issue of facilitating the activities of businesses. This article states that: “In order to facilitate the establishment and operation of cyberspace services and businesses, regulators are obliged to publicly announce the conditions required for registration or licensing, and the licensing process through the national licensing portal of the country (subject to paragraph ( 22) Article 1 of the General Policy Implementation Law, Article 44 of the Amended Constitution of 1399. The activities of the services subject to paragraph d of Article 2 of this law, in addition to registration in the national portal for issuing licenses, require obtaining a license and introducing a legal representative. This article is intended.
Chapter 3: What are the requirements of executive bodies?
In this chapter, the functions of the executive device and the renaming of some devices are mentioned. Article 6 of this chapter states that the High Council for Information Technology has been renamed the “Executive Council for Digital Transformation” and that all its functions will be solely within the framework of the High Council’s approvals and at the executive level.
Article 7 of the third chapter, which seems to be more empowering for the High Council of Cyberspace, states that executive bodies whose job descriptions are inconsistent with the rulings issued by the Supreme Leader regarding the Council and the National Cyberspace Center are required to rewrite their job descriptions.
The description of the new duties is effective after the announcement of the opinion of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace and in the legal process. Also, the Employment Affairs Organization of the country is obliged to structurally review the agencies subject to this article. However, the Note to Article 7 reminds that the National Cyberspace Center is responsible for detecting discrepancies and notifying them to the relevant agencies. The modification of the mission, the merger or the removal of the bodies established by law is done through the parliament.
Article 8 of Chapter 3 sets out the requirements that the executive must fulfill, one of the most interesting of which is that “any use by the executive of foreign cyberspace services and their promotion is prohibited, except in cases provided by law or the approval of the High Commission.” “It is allowed.” On the other hand, the article states that “any advertising, promotion and dissemination of unlicensed cyberspace services through radio, state media, media that use the public budget in any way, and the executive apparatus is prohibited.”
Another interesting clause of this article is that it has taxed foreign service providers. In this regard, the draft of the 5th of Dey edition reads: “The income of foreign cyberspace service providers who earn financial benefits from operating in Iran is subject to tax.” In this case, it is emphasized that the relevant executive regulations will be developed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance within one month in cooperation with the National Cyberspace Center and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and will be approved by the Council of Ministers.
Chapter Four: And But the Border Crossing
The border crossing or gateway has been criticized in various versions of the protection plan. Because this will cause the government, the infrastructure communications company, which has been in charge of border crossings until now, to be fired and its role in the management and policy-making of this sector to be diminished. In the plan of the regulation of services in cyberspace, which was put on the table instead of the plan of protection of users on the date of July, the definition of the border crossing is not different from its definitions in the old versions.
Pursuant to Article 9, which refers to the Border Crossing Management Working Group, this crossing consists of the Head of the National Cyberspace Center (Chairman of the Working Group) and representatives of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Passive Defense Organization, Ministry of Intelligence, Police, Judiciary, Armed Forces General Staff And the IRGC intelligence organization is created to make the necessary decisions regarding the security of communications and information and the management of the country’s incoming and outgoing traffic at safe border crossings.
Article 10 of this chapter emphasizes that the access system, duties and competencies of the relevant agencies in safe border crossings and the necessary regulations for the implementation of the working group approvals, based on the policies approved by the High Council of Cyberspace, shall be approved by the High Commission within 8 months. will receive.
The General Responsibility of the Armed Forces is the main responsibility of implementing the approvals of the Working Group on the Management of the Safe Border Crossing, establishing the necessary coordination between the relevant agencies in the implementation of the said approvals and supervising their proper implementation. The above-mentioned regulations should be followed.
The fifth chapter is about supporting cyberspace services and the sixth chapter is about protecting the rights of cyberspace service users.
Resolutions that must be enforced
The seventh chapter of the 5D version of the plan, which is dedicated to guaranteeing the implementation of this plan, has not been accompanied by such changes as the July plan. Article 16 of this chapter states: “According to this law, all approvals of regulatory bodies are binding. Any violation of cyberspace service providers from the regulators’ approvals with the following performance guarantees will be accompanied by priority, respectively:
- A- Public announcement of the violation
- B- Restrictions on attracting new users in a period of five days to three months
- C- A fine of one to ten percent of the annual income and in case of insufficiency, a fine of one to one thousand times the ceiling of the average transaction quorum
- D- Deprivation of supply and activity of services by reducing the validity period or suspending or revoking or not renewing the license
- E- Deprivation of the protections subject to this law and other laws approved by the parliament or approved by the council
- C- Restrictions on all types of advertising
- G- Applying preferential tariffs
- H- Applying traffic policy
Article 17 This chapter, which may be able to prevent various or erroneous filtering, is dedicated to monitoring cyberspace. This article states that – Providers of cyberspace services in order to sanitize the content of public space that does not require permission to enter, are directly obliged, in accordance with the list and technical criteria announced by the Working Group to determine instances of criminal content subject to Article 750 of the Islamic Penal Code. Refine the criminal content for 12 hours and send the relevant report to the secretariat of the said working group. In the note to this article, it is mentioned that the refinement of the content is immediately applicable by the order of the working group for determining the instances of criminal content and the judicial authorities. The plan also prohibits the unauthorized production, distribution, reproduction and distribution of software or access tools (such as VPN and filter breakers) and the perpetrator will be sentenced to imprisonment and a sixth-degree fine. It has also been confirmed that the mass release of such software or tools, even for non-commercial purposes, is covered by this article.
* Use this link to read the full text of the plan for the 5th of January in the parliament, which has been adapted by combining the plan for protection in July and the proposals of the Ministry of Communications.