- Iran: Eight Prisoners Hanged on Drug Charges
- Daughter of late Iranian president jailed for ‘spreading lies’
- IRAN: Annual report on the death penalty 2016
- Taheri Facing the Death Penalty Again
- Dedicated team seeking return of missing agent in Iran
- Iran Arrests 2, Seizes Bibles During Catholic Crackdown
- Trump to welcome Netanyahu as Palestinians fear U.S. shift
- Details of Iran nuclear deal still secret as US-Tehran relations unravel
- Will Trump's Next Iran Sanctions Target China's Banks?
- Don’t ‘tear up’ the Iran deal. Let it fail on its own.
- Iran Has Changed, But For The Worse
- Iran nuclear deal ‘on life support,’ Priebus says
- Female Activist Criticizes Rouhani’s Failure to Protect Citizens
- Iran’s 1st female bodybuilder tells her story
- Iranian lady becomes a Dollar Millionaire on Valentine’s Day
- Two women arrested after being filmed riding motorbike in Iran
- 43,000 Cases of Child Marriage in Iran
- Woman Investigating Clinton Foundation Child Trafficking KILLED!
- Senior Senators, ex-US officials urge firm policy on Iran
- In backing Syria's Assad, Russia looks to outdo Iran
- Six out of 10 People in France ‘Don’t Feel Safe Anywhere’
- The liberal narrative is in denial about Iran
- Netanyahu urges Putin to block Iranian power corridor
- Iran Poses ‘Greatest Long Term Threat’ To Mid-East Security
Monday 11 March 2013
Iranian authorities have blocked the use of most virtual private network (VPNs) to stop people in the country from circumventing the government's internet filter, three months before the country holds its presidential election.
"Within the last few days illegal VPN ports in the country have been blocked," Ramezanali Sobhani-Fard, the head of the Iranian parliament's information and communications technology committee, told Mehr news agency, according to Reuters. "Only legal and registered VPNs can from now on be used."
The Iranian government filters the internet for anything it regards as offensive or criminal. With a VPN, Iranians could get around that specific content firewall by appearing to access the web from another country.
There are some reports that the attempt to stop VPNs has also cut off Iranians' access to sites like Yahoo!, Google and Facebook.
Non-profit internet freedom group Project Anita was reporting "heavy interference" over VPN and SSL in the country over the weekend.
"Three days on, the problem is still in place," the group's blog said yesterday. "All the L2TP and PPTP protocols remained closed. SSL works, but they managed to somehow highjack the requests to youtube.com and facebook.com."
Iran is set to hold its presidential elections on 14 June. The previous election, in 2009, triggered protests from citizens over what all three candidates claimed were manipulated votes and vote-rigging. Protests in the streets of Tehran triggered a military clampdown which led to the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, whose shooting by a member of the voluntary militia Basij was captured on camera and uploaded to YouTube.
Protestors also used social sites like Facebook to communicate, and Twitter even delayed a scheduled upgrade so that its micro-blogging service would not be down during daylight hours in Iran. It would appear that the government is attempting to make sure the internet cannot be used in the same way this time round. ®
By Brid-Aine Parnell - theregister.co.uk