Iran and the internet don’t exactly get along. Between trying to shut down all Google services and replacing YouTube with a state-sponsored clone, Iran has been making moves to make its intranet the place to be. By blocking everything else. Until now, tech-savvy and internet-loving Iranians have been able to use VPNs to get out into the internet wilds, but no longer.
As of today, the Iranian government has been blocking non-Iranian VPNs, which it has decried as illegal, and Iranian web users have been able to confirm that many are going down. And without that encrypted venue out of the country’s intranet, the cyber-blockade is more effective than ever.
While this clearly isn’t Iran’s first attempt to restrict internet access, most of those were easily subverted by anyone who really wanted to get through. This VPN blockage could prove to be quite a bit tougher for even power-users to get around. Reuters managed to confirm that the blockage has effectively disabled Skype and Viper, both popular internet telephony services, and may have blocked Yahoo and Google as collateral damage. The head of parliament’s information and communications technology committee, Ramezanali Sobhani-Fard, is said to be looking into that issue.
So appreciate your open internet, folks. You’re lucky to have it. [Reuters]