Iran draws veil over secure internet access

Tor needs help to beat censorship


The Tor Project is reporting Iran has blocked access to nearly all SSL/TLS traffic within its borders and is calling for help to break the embargo.

In a site posting Jacob Appelbaum said that the problems had begun around 48 hours ago, with secure traffic slowing before being completely blocked on Iranian ISPs. Tor has prepared a special kind of traffic bridge, which it dubbed “obfuscated bridge,” to deal with the problem but needs help to host it and polish off the rough edges.

“We've long had an ace up our sleeves for this exact moment in the arms race but it's perhaps come while the User Interface edges are a bit rough still,” Appelbaum said. “It's not easy to set up just yet because we were not ready to deploy this for everyone yet; it lacks a lot of analysis and it might even only last for a few days at the rate the arms race is progressing, if you could call it progress.”

The move will shut down access to almost all HTTPS sites, including Google, Facebook, and Yahoo services, as well as crippling online banking and transaction services. The Washington Post Tehran office reported connection problems on Thursday and speculated that this may be a precursor to the planned Iranian National Internet, thought to be similar to China’s Great Firewall, which the government has said it is developing.

“They are stealing people’s information and following their own . . . goals,” said Reza Taghipour, the communication and information technology minister, when speaking about foreign governments and online companies in January. “We need [the National Internet] to protect the privacy of families.”

Cutting off internet access has been a popular tactic among ruling governments, both home and abroad, in an attempt to stifle internal dissent, and Iran has seen some levels of popular protest. Kabir News reports the blockage is to coincide with the 33rd anniversary of the uprisings that became called the Islamic Revolution and indicated it may last some time. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading
  • Memory maker Micron moots $150bn mega manufacturing moneybag

    AI and 5G to fuel demand for new plants and R&D

    Chip giant Micron has announced a $150bn global investment plan designed to support manufacturing and research over the next decade.

    The memory maker said it would include expansion of its fabrication facilities to help meet demand.

    As well as chip shortages due to COVID-19 disruption, the $21bn-revenue company said it wanted to take advantage of the fact memory and storage accounts for around 30 per cent of the global semiconductor industry today.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021