Iran disables VPNs ahead of election; postpones national "halal" internet until June.

Posted: 21 Feb 2012   Print   Send a link
Reuters, 20 Feb 2012, Zahra Hosseinian, Ramin Mostafavi, and Amran Abocar: "Iranians faced a second and more extensive disruption of Internet access Monday, just a week after email and social networking sites were blocked, raising concerns about state censorship ahead of parliamentary elections. The latest Internet blockade affected the most common form of secure connections, including all encrypted international websites outside of Iran that depend on the Secure Sockets Layer protocol, which display addresses beginning with 'https.' 'Email, proxies and all the secure channels that start with 'https' are not available,' said a Tehran-based technology expert who declined to be identified. 'The situation regarding accessing these websites is even worse than last week because the VPNs are not working.' Many Iranians use virtual private network, or VPN, software to get around the extensive government Internet filter which aims to prevent access to a wide range of websites including many foreign news sites and social networks like Facebook."

Radio Zamaneh, 19 Feb 2012: "Iran's Minister of Communications has announced that the launch of the 'national internet', which was scheduled for February, has been postponed to June. The Mehr News Agency reports that Reza Taghipour said in a meeting on Saturday. ... Previously, the government had announced that the 'national internet' or "national information network" would be launched by February 11. Islamic Republic officials seek to control online content by launching the so-called 'clean or halal internet', which would not provide access to pornographic and indecent sites and perhaps other sites deemed inappropriate. Analysts have said this so-called internet is an attempt to cut off Iranian users from the World Wide Web. ... Taghipour also alleged that Google turns over all its information to the United States Central Intelligence Agency."