Iran Blocks VPNs, ‘Illegal’ Internet Access


(Image source: The Verge)

BY DAN KENNEDY The Iranian government is taking a new stand
to ensure its citizens DON’T have access to parts of the Internet. 

The government
announced it is blocking virtual private networks or VPNs — used to access the internet, calling
them “illegal.” However, “Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace announced in January
that it would soon begin selling ‘official’ and ‘legal’ VPN services to companies
and corporations that needed them for security.”

PCMag reports government-distributed VPNs would
allow the government to directly monitor what sites users try to access. The new restrictions
— which take effect immediately — allow the government to prosecute violators in national
courts. 

Close eyes on internet access are nothing new in the middle eastern country
— Iranians have been cut off from the Internet several times in the past few years. Just
last month, they lost access to Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo email. 

They also don’t have
access to major social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter — dubbed by the government
as “inappropriate.” In September, the government blocked popular sites like Google
search and YouTube. Iranians were using VPNs to get around those previous restrictions
— restrictions the government claims are forms of cyber-security from “Western”
attacks.

But SlashGear reports a different theory for this latest round of restrictions.
The country’s next presidential election is set for June. The last time that happened
in 2009, protestors used those social-networking sites to organize demonstrations. SlashGear
predicts the new ban on VPNs is meant to curtail new demonstrations.

The country reportedly
has plans to use a government-run Internet service not associated with the World Wide
Web. That would allow officials to monitor users and continue to restrict certain content.

3 thoughts on “Iran Blocks VPNs, ‘Illegal’ Internet Access

  1. very very interesting
    probably the most important topic of our times and only one comment
    woww
    c'mon peopkle!
    u dont wanna be even more of a slave !
    trust me i've seen it
    not pritty!

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