For many Iranian citizens the only way to enjoy an internet experience close to the one we benefit from is via the use of encrypted virtual private networks (VPNs). Such tools are often required by Iranians in order to circumvent various government blocks and filters.
Now, however, the censorship of web activities looks set to intensify as Iranian officials say they have blocked the use of “illegal” tools.
“Within the last few days illegal VPN ports in the country have been blocked. Only legal and registered VPNs can from now on be used.”
Naturally, I would be surprised if said legal and registered VPNs are not without government surveillance.
Beyond the fact that the Iranian government doesn’t seem to like its people having much in the way of internet freedom anyway, the timing here is key too – there are presidential elections coming up in June. Last time around, back in 2009, there were mass protests after the result was revealed leading to the blocking of many large sites such as Twitter and Facebook, in addition to Google services such as YouTube, and even the shutdown of the internet within the country too at one point.
Ah well, who needs the internet anyway – the US can always give them Stuxnet’s successor on a USB stick 🙂
photo: Beverly & Pack