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Iran Blocks 'Illegal' VPNs, Google, and Yahoo 176

First time accepted submitter voul writes "Iran is at it again. Taking a page from China's playbook, Iran has moved to cut off illegal VPNs. 'Quite aware of the censorship they face, many Iranians use proxy servers over virtual private networks to circumvent government restrictions and mask their activities,' CNET reports. 'However, officials now say they have blocked use of the "illegal" tool.' Slashgear reports that users are 'unable to access social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or use services like Skype to make phone calls. Along with the blocking of the VPNs, the Iranian government have also blocked access to Google and Yahoo.'"
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Iran Blocks 'Illegal' VPNs, Google, and Yahoo

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  • by r1348 ( 2567295 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:41PM (#43134295)

    You fail at history.

  • by nomad63 ( 686331 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:56PM (#43134377)
    You can run a VPN server at your home. Those governments can only block so many IP addresses and they have the big VPN providers in their crosshairs. If you and another few thousand of you can spare few gigabytes per month from your bandwidth cap and somehow find a way to reach out to those people and direct them to use *your* VPN service (free of charge of course), you can safely say that you have done your part.
  • by Cito ( 1725214 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:05PM (#43134423)

    the largest "tool" that was blocked is Tor.

    Tor has thousands of exit nodes, and all were blocked, they don't have to block specific ports they use deep packet inspection to identify if it's a proxy request or direct request and can deny all which is why at the moment Tor don't work from Iran

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:10PM (#43134441)

    There's obfsproxy, a tool put out by the Tor project, designed to get around the Deep Packet inspection Iran was doing about a year ago or so. Running an obfsproxy tor bridge is probably one of the best things you can do to help. And for those not versed in Tor, running a bridge is NOT the same as running an exit node, nor does it come with the risk factor of mistaken identity resulting in excess hassling.


  • by cffrost ( 885375 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @11:09PM (#43135009) Homepage

    [O]f the three search engines only Google will actually use SSL, even if you go to http://google.com/ [google.com] the form is submitted over https. The other two not only won't do that, they will *downgrade* you to http even if you explicitly navigate to https://yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] or https://bing.com/ [bing.com]. Iranians can easily use DPI to spy on Yahoo and Bing users, only Google presents a problem. So I'm not surprised Bing didn't get blocked, it's not clear to me why Yahoo did.

    https://duckduckgo.com/ [duckduckgo.com] and https://ixquick.com/ [ixquick.com] both support SSL/TLS. The latter allows viewing searched content through their embedded HTTPS proxy service.

  • Not entirely (Score:5, Informative)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday March 11, 2013 @02:49AM (#43135737) Journal


    For those unfortunate enough not to be Dutch, the article claims Ahmadinejad is under attack from the religious leadership for hugging/comforting the wife of Chavez. In Islam, touching women is forbidden, unlike say goats. Not even the president, acting in an world with many cultures escapes this. There are of course many rules which only apply to the ruled but some dictatorships manage to suppress everyone, except those who like the suppression.

    NK is rather famous for going after even Generals who don't show the right amount of grieve. There are systems where even the holiest are not immune to the system.

    This is not saying these systems are nice but to understand them, you need to understand that the idea of the evil overlord at the top controlling all is best left to the movies. Most of these systems have become self perpetuting, it is the system that rules the people, not people. Of course, the system is people in the end but what I mean is that those doing the dictating are just as much dictated as the rest. That is why these systems endure for so long. Because if one leader should falter, the system simply replaces him or pulls him back in line. Dictators change, the system endures. And it isn't creepy guys meeting in secret, it is grannies who spy on their neighbors and are first in line at the stonings. That is why the west has been unable to "liberate" Iraq or Afghanistan. Because they shot the "leaders" who are just puppets of the systems and left the grannies who tell their grandsons they will go to heaven and stone their granddaughters for not obeying their grandmothers little empires, alone.

    Want to fix the world? Kill the people behind the curtains watching and reporting.

  • by xenobyte ( 446878 ) on Monday March 11, 2013 @03:11AM (#43135787)

    Instead of focusing on the rather innocent little exclamation you should be more worried about the fact that even though things like Tor, VPNs, hired proxies and the like are held up as solutions and workarounds for almost all these internet blocks, we have here, in Iran, a real world demonstration that such things are useless against deep packet inspection and filtering.

    Sure, but we're not there yet. The blocking in Iran is nothing more than basic port and protocol blocks; just block 1723/tcp and protocol 47 (gre) and you've blocked PPTP VPN, the most common form of VPN. IPsec VPN can be blocked by blocking 500/udp and protocol esp+ah. The more rare SSL-only form of VPN is probably blocked using blacklists as no form of deep packet inspection can see inside encrypted packets and there's no other way to find out if it's a regular SSL connection or something like VPN. But then maybe they simply block all use of SSL across the borders.

    Such techniques will be used in the States, in Canada, in the UK, anywhere, either under the direction of the intellectual property owners or to protect us all from terrorism and any attempt to use such techniques or others to circumvent the blocks to certain types of files or information will be considered a criminal act.

    For smaller files, encryption of the files within other files can be used but for larger files, streams or participation in open conversations of prohibited subjects will become harder over time.

    I agree with you there.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger