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February 20, 2012

Iran blocks internet access again

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) have also been made inaccessible

By CBR Staff Writer

The Iranian government has yet again blocked all encrypted international websites outside of Iran that depend on the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol ahead of parliamentary elections in that country.

The latest web censorship affected Email, proxies and all the secure connections that depend on the SSL protocol, which display addresses beginning with "https."

Last week, more than 30m Iranian internet users were unable to access their e-mail accounts, including Gmail and Microsoft’s hotmail.

Iranian internet traffic returned to back to normalcy a few days later.

The latest operation has also made Virtual Private Networks (VPN) inaccessible, according to Reuters.

Iranians use VPN software to bypass the country’s censorship efforts.

The current round of internet blockage in Iran is said to be in view of the parliamentary elections on March 2, the first national election since 2009.

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The government has not yet made an official statement regarding the disruption, according to CNET.

Iranians have faced increased censorship in using the Internet since opposition supporters used social networking to organise protests after the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reported Reuters.

The figures from the United Nations agency for information technology show that the percentage of Iranians who use the Internet has risen to 13% from 1% over the past decade.

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