PublishedFebruary 10, 2012

Iran Shuts Down Internet Access To Secure Websites

Iran has reportedly blocked its citizens’ access to some secure websites today according to news various reports, though the government has not officially announced an Internet service disruption.

Internet users in Iran tell reporters they cannot access Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo email and others report getting to secured banking sites and Facebook is not possible. Saturday marks the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic resolution and some are speculating Iran may be trying to curb communications ahead of planned protests Saturday.

The following statement can be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association President & CEO Ed Black:

“This appears to be another step toward creating a firewall in Iran to block access to the global Internet. Some have expressed concern this heralds the creation of a National Internet that would keep Iranian citizens within a walled-off domestic network much like an office Internet.

“After last year’s events in Egypt, it would seem blocking or shutting down Internet access in this day and age is not a wise move for government leaders to make. While this so far is not as extreme as what Egypt did, as I noted last year during that action, the US government and others who care about liberty need to speak out or sound alarms early when nations first place restrictions on the Internet so that the Internet is used as a tool for freedom not repression.

“While this may end up being a short term block to Internet freedom, our hope is that it will raise awareness about the threats to citizens and the Internet ecosystem when a government takes unilateral action to control Internet communication.”

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