Photo: US Army
New internet blocks in Iran have stoked fears that the the government is about to introduce its restrictive ‘National Internet’ network (via TechWeek Europe).The Washington Post’s Thomas Erdbrink reports that software that had previously allowed Iranian internet users to bypass government firewalls is becoming painfully slow or failing completely, keeping users out of major sites such as Facebook.
The blackouts are also affecting sites that use the HTTPS secure protocol, including most online banking portals, Yahoo, Google and Gmail, according to Kabir News.
It suggests the blocks are linked to the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which is celebrated during the first 10 days of February.
The news comes after Iran’s government, long known for policing online content, said it was preparing to unveil a heavily controlled domestic network that it dubs the National Internet, which will run like an office intranet setup.
From the The Post:
Officials stress that there will still be access to the Web — just not to the “damaging” sites. But Iranian Internet users and activists fear that the activation of the National Internet will cut them off from the rest of the world, and put them under increased surveillance by authorities.
Iranian officials, who fear that Western enemies are using the internet to spy on Iranians, have previously suggested that the network could be launched any time.
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