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[liberationtech] Tor: Increased Internet blocking in Iran

Cyrus Farivar cfarivar at
Wed Jan 12 04:06:36 PST 2011

The Tor Project, the gold standard of online anonymization tools, is
reporting that within the last few days, there’s been an uptick in the
Iranian government’s actions against domestic Internet access.

They write:

   "Over the past 48 hours it seems the Great Persian Firewall is
updating to attempt to block a number of circumvention tools,
including Tor. Iranians and their diaspora have been reporting to us
that Tor, Hot Spot Shield, UltraSurf, and Freegate are all
experiencing connectivity problems from inside Iran to the outside

   Our research indicates that ssl-based communications are being
throttled to 2 kilobit per second rates or simply blocked altogether.
This is inclusive of basic ssh, ssl, vpns, and other proxy
technologies. We’re continuing to work on what’s really happening and
likely means to counter. The short answer is to use bridges that are
not on port 443."

Global Voices, meanwhile, provides a little political context:

   "Given Iran’s recent rhetoric against Green Movement leaders as
well as its planned 10 day assault against the Green Movement what Tor
and others may be seeing is the digital realization of these political
statements and actions within the country. In the past, changes to
Iran’s filters have been tested on certain ISPs within the country
before being implemented nationwide. If the regime is moving towards
digitizing its most recent statements and actions, what the Tor
Project is seeing now could be localized testing of a planned national

>From my perspective, this is yet another episode in the constant
cat-and-mouse game that is being played out in Iran. Given that the
number of connections from Iran to the outside world is around a half
dozen, futzing with port blocking and other forms of censorship is
pretty trivial.

All the best from Germany,


Cyrus Farivar
"suh-ROOS FAR-ih-var"

 Freelance Technology Journalist
cfarivar at

DE: +49 163 763 3108 (m)
US: +1 510 394 5485 (m)

AIM: FarivarCJ
Twitter/Skype/Yahoo/gChat: cfarivar

"Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet."

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