Mark Zuckerberg Ordered To Appear In Iranian Court Over Claims WhatsApp & Instagram Violate Users' Privacy

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated May 27, 2014 12:44 PM EDT

An Iranian judge has ordered Mark Zuckerberg to appear in the nation's court over claims that Facebook's WhatsApp and Instagram are violating users' privacy.

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The U.K.'s Daily Mail is reporting the news, claiming that Iranian official Ruhollah Momen Nasab also stated the judge asked for the two apps to be blocked in the nation. As of noon today this has not happened and the apps are still functioning, and it's extremely unlikely Zuckerberg will be choosing to take a trip to Iran in response to the court order.

In addition to Zuckerberg being under no real obligation to agree to the demand for his appearance, Iran has no extradition treaty with the United States. This means that Zuckerberg could not be recalled as a criminal if his "trial" were to go badly, leaving him forcibly stuck on hostile foreign soil. In short: I don't think this judge is going to get what he's looking for.

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Facebook itself is already banned in Iran, as are Twitter and YouTube (many tech-savvy citizens use proxy servers and other workarounds). WhatsApp joined the banned list earlier this month as a result of Zuckerberg's Facebook purchasing the company.

"The reason for this is the assumption of WhatsApp by the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is an American Zionist," Abdolsamad Khorrambadi, head of Iran's committee on Internet Crimes, explained at the time.

Moderate President Hassan Rouhani is opposed to such blocks, says the Mail, saying that the company should view the cyber world "as an opportunity", and asking why the nation is so afraid of trusting its youth.

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