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[liberationtech] Many VPNs and Psiphon are currently blocked in Iran right now

Nathan of Guardian nathan at
Sun Feb 23 06:43:32 PST 2014

On February 23, 2014 8:30:25 AM EST, Amin Sabeti <aminsabeti at> wrote:
>​Guys, we are talking about massive audience not activists or
>I believe we should care more about massive audience not activists
>they can find someone to help them. For instance, they have lots of
>outside the country to buy VPN or other commercial circumvention tools
>general users have not this kinds of contact.

That is the reason I promote Tor. It is 100% free, run by volunteers, doesn't require a credit card or registered account, and has group of Farsi-literate community support staff (like Nima) ready to help. I don't see it as an activist tool by any means, i see it as something you can trust and rely upon that wont leave user out to dry the minute the govt filters their IP.

>It's so interesting for me when someone says TOR does work then it's
>problem to use it not us! BTW, I believe TOR is a good tool to hide
>identification and for majority in Iran it's not the issue because they
>don't care about NSA/ GCHQ surveillance.
>It would be better to think as a general user not someone who is
>and support freedom of expression.

It is clear that most Iranians are not interested in anonymity or protecting their identity because they want to use Tor to access Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etx. I am fully in support of this usage, and deeply want to make it work well on mobile. I have no preoccupation with the NSA or GCHQ as an adversary, and in fact I care mostly about the free flow of information in a reliable manner no matter where you are in the globe.

Psiphon3 on Android is a great app and the best open-source solutions for what Iranians want (circumvention with speed), as long as it isn't blocked (which it now is?) and as long as they can continue paying their enormous bandwidth bills. I assume/hope they will find a solution soon, and then that can continue to be what is promoted en masse to mobile Iranians. The good news is you can run Orbot/Tor on top of Psiphon3 just fine, if you want that extra layer of protection.


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