Feeds

Deja vote: Iran blocks VPN use ahead of elections

Crashes YouTube and Facebook at the same time - report

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.