Internet Access Returns in Iran

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – In nations facing political duress, the idea of governments simply switching off Internet access to its citizens has become all too common in the last couple years.

Such an example includes January 2011 when the government of Egypt disabled its Internet during protests that eventually ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. Another time includes June 2011 when the government of Syria followed through with similar actions.

Simply put, access to the web has provided people with a way to voice their opinions and organize rallies some governments would otherwise prefer not face.

Just a few days ago, web users in Iran experienced a curious case when they found website services including those of Yahoo!, Gmail and Facebook unavailable.

While such services have been routinely blocked in the country, users in Iran have long used Virtual Private Networks to get around the government’s firewall that usually blocks access, according to a report from the AFP. However, with the recent downtime, the usual loophole wasn’t available.

The AFP reported that attempting to access such services resulted in a message reading, “Access to this page is a violation of computer crime laws.”

That wasn’t the only thing. Attempting to access sites not so directly blocked resulted in extremely slow load times. According to the Mehr news agency in Iran, blackouts of the sites hit over thirty million Internet users.

However, Iran’s few-day Internet nightmare now appears to be over. According to a report from the Associated Press, quite a few people have reported that such Internet access had returned as of Monday. The shutdown shortly precedes Iran’s parliamentary elections which are to be held next month.

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