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

Fereidoon Bashar fereidoon at
Tue Feb 25 13:42:10 PST 2014

I would actually argue against that, at least with Iranian users, rely on
one particular tool. From what we have seen from our many communications
with users, they rely and use any number of tools they can get their hands
on and their choice is dependent on which one works better on a given day.
And their choice mainly centers around which one is faster.

Here is one example of an Iranian Android user's list of tools

I don't think its an user education issue. Users are very quick at finding
ways of going around censorship and have a lot of local resources (VPN
sellers) to help them.  Based on my experience communicating with a lot of
users, for many of them access is the first priority. But now that they
have more options, faster and reliable access is what they care the most
about, not security and privacy.

On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 4:18 PM, Griffin Boyce <griffin at>wrote:

> Adam Pritchard wrote:
>> I would advise against getting too comfortable/confident/hubristic...
>> One might not want to suggest that one is unblockable.
>   I like Tor a lot, but obviously nothing is "unblockable."  Iran's
> targeting of Tor around the attempted revolution is but one data point --
> every kind of circumvention tool is targeted by oppressive regimes.  What
> is more {important|telling} is how well a software community can respond
> and bounce back from various blocking events.
>   Part of the issue (as I see it) is that users tend to regard one
> circumvention method as a panacea.  People rely on Tor or Lantern or
> Psiphon or that really fast VPN on a weird port.  And then when their
> method of choice gets blocked, they are forced to find a replacement.  This
> feels like a user education issue.  Users need to know that there are
> multiple options -- eg when Psiphon works but Lantern doesn't, or when Tor
> with a bridge doesn't usually work, but with flashproxy does.  People need
> to be prepared to pivot quickly.
> ~Griffin
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Fereidoon Bashar
fereidoon at

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