Iran has reportedly blocked many foreign-based virtual private networks, or VPNs, severely restricting access to many websites. (news taken from News.Az, DNA and ValueWalk)
The VPNs are illegal in Iran, but offered a way to freely use the Internet, and popular sites like Facebook.
According to a report by the independent Donya-e Eghtesad daily, lawmaker Ramazan Ali Sobhani said that his parliamentary committee in charge of communications would review the results of the block on VPNs, which went into effect last Wednesday.
Sobhani said that the block restricted access to some international email services such as Gmail and Yahoo in some parts of the country, Fox News reports.
The report pointed out that since the street unrest that followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2009 re-election, Iran has tightened restrictions on VPN use and occasionally blocked them.
But the attempts to block VPN use inside its borders appear to have been unsuccessful according to anecdotal evidence.
“Hide My Ass,” a popular proxy network, has reported that its service has not been hampered by the government’s recent efforts. According to the company 1200 Iranians use its service every week. The firm’s owner, Joshua Van Raalte, says that attempts to block VPNs and proxies in authoritarian countries have been completely unsuccessful so far.
Iran’s government has a policy of blocking access to websites it deems bad for the country’s morals. That definition extends to social networks, email providers and the web sites of illegal opposition parties. VPNs are one way in which ordinary Iranians have sought to get around those blocks.
(news taken from News.Az, DNA and ValueWalk)
- Iran Is Blocking Tools Used to Evade Internet Filters (Tue 12 March 2013, Alex Fitzpatrick)
- Iran blocks VPN access to Gmail, Yahoo (Wed 13 March 2013, News.Az)
- Iran blocks VPN access to Gmail, Yahoo (Wed 13 March 2013, DNA)
- Iran VPN Block Attempt Unsuccessful (Tue 12 March 2013, ValueWalk)
- Iran is ineffectual at blocking VPNs (Tue 12 March 2013, TGDaily)