Iran on Tuesday demanded that the world cooperate more closely with the country with regard to intelligence sharing related to cybercrime.
“Iran has always worked in good cooperation for handling the international cases, but the assistance of the international circles has not unfortunately matched Iran’s cooperation,” Iranian Police Commander Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari told reporters at the 6th Eurasian Working Group Meeting on Cybercrime for Heads of Units in Tehran, according to Iran’s state-run Tasnim News agency.
Ashtari then noted that the Iranian Cyber Police has expanded its capabilities in recent years and has “helped in detection of international terrorist networks and gangs,” according to Tasnim. He also “hailed the results of regular meetings among cyber police commanders of the Asian and European countries, saying such gatherings would enhance police capabilities in tackling organized crimes in the cyber space.”
Ironically, Breitbart News reported in February that “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has engaged in a series of coordinated cyber warfare tactics to spy on, police, and arrest the Iranian people to secure its theocracy.”
Iranians have been charged with cyber crimes including hacking American intellectual property.
In March, Breitbart News reported:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) charged one Iranian entity and nine Iranians on Friday in a hacking scheme to steal intellectual property and information from at least 144 United States-based universities, various companies, and government agencies for private financial gain.
In 2015, Breitbart News reported that Iranian hackers were behind a data breach of housing files at the University of California, Santa Barbara. An in-depth investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Iranians had potentially been able to gather information on the U.S. power grid as a result of these hacks.
American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin provided his own analysis about what Iran’s true intent with cyber data sharing is:
While some of the internet activity may have been political, the ISNA also reported that the “thugs” had used social media and Instagram to threaten and perhaps even blackmail other citizens. If this is accurate, then the range of internet crimes which Iranian security forces seek to counter has expanded from politics and pornography to blackmail and extortion as some Iranians post photographs of others in embarrassing situations. Such incidents, even if few and far between, will provide Iranian authorities with an excuse to further their monitoring of all online activity and Iranian government efforts to create a “Halal” intranet strictly controlled by the Iranian government.