back to article Deja vote: Iran blocks VPN use ahead of elections

Iranian authorities have blocked the use of most virtual private network (VPNs) to stop people in the country from circumventing the government's internet filter, three months before the country holds its presidential election. "Within the last few days illegal VPN ports in the country have been blocked," Ramezanali Sobhani- …

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  1. Avatar of They
    FAIL

    shock

    Let me be (probably) the first to predict the corrupt 'I'm a dinner jacket' to win. By a landslide.

    Then when the ports open again, torrents of real stories showing what another farce it is.

    1. John G Imrie

      Re: shock

      I think they have got wise to that . It looks much better if you win by 51% of the vote.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "When the ports open again..."

      You mean 'if'.

      Plus, how long before the 'lobbyists' in the US persuade the US Gov that VPN blocking is a good idea (in the interests of national security and child safety, of course).

      The article mentions blocking L2TP and PPTP VPN ports (and more specifically protocols) but what about TOR restricted to ports 80 and 443 - does that still work?

      1. Gordon Fecyk
        Big Brother

        "[s/When/If] the ports open again..."

        The article mentions blocking L2TP and PPTP VPN ports (and more specifically protocols) but what about TOR restricted to ports 80 and 443 - does that still work?

        Application filtering for HTTP and HTTPS exists, as does transparent proxying. If a US business can do it, you can bet Iran is doing it, and very likely with software authored in the US despite export controls.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: "[s/When/If] the ports open again..."

          I was thinking about that, too. I would think, the way they describe it, they basically put any encrypted traffic (or anything resembling it, like unidentifiable gibberish) up against a whitelist, and only approved address/port combinations are let in. By my reckoning, TOR, i2p, even Freenet would be blocked. Getting anything more than small bits of information through that would probably take some serious thinking.

      2. JCitizen Bronze badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Activists already have a workaround...

        There is a crack-pack floating around the world that allows the user to hijack the command and control servers of a bot net/or nets, so that the originator of communications are almost impossible to track. I had access to this during a small window of opportunity, but did not download or test it. I wasn't willing to build a VM to contain it.

        The victims of the Tibetan crack down were using this particular code, but as you can imagine the acquisition window is always very short, and closes after just a few days. The dissident underground know how to re-acquire it, but I'm not privy to this, of course. There is also something I don't yet understand called "Dark net"; perhaps someone here could "illuminate" us on how that works!

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Activists already have a workaround...

          A darknet is simply an encrypted network where access is severely limited on the basis of trust. Only those who have the proper credentials can enter the net, and it's called "dark" because, by design, you only open the net to those you trust. It's widely rumored that criminal elements like child porn traffickers use darknets to pass their stuff around without anyone outside being able to determine what's being/

          Freenet experimented with the idea in an earlier version, to try to get around LEOs getting into the network to sniff things out, but it found that its network really needed a lot of people to make it work and have made the darknet feature strictly an option now. Besides, against an authority who deigns ANY encryption to be suspicious, Freenet would have trouble regardless of its settings.

    3. red death

      Re: shock

      Ahmadinejad has fallen out of favour with the Supreme Leader plus I am not sure he can stand for a 3rd term, so fairly sure it won't be him!

    4. sandman

      Re: shock

      It'll have to be a new dinner jacket - the present one can't stand for a third term.

    5. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: shock

      Before Ahmedinejad can win -- by a landslide or otherwise -- they'll need to change the constitution, which currently limits a president to two terms.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: shock

        Wanna bet he's got a puppet protege waiting for that situation?

    6. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: shock

      "'I'm a dinner jacket'"

      "After dinner chat" surely..... Or is a relation I've not heard of running?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK

    We aren't exactly immune from Govt mandated blocks in the Internet... just waiting for the FO to pipe up on this subject.

  3. Richard Cartledge

    The Iranian President is just a fall guy or puppet, the public face of The Assembly of Experts (Majles-e Khobregan) who are not democratically elected. It hardly matters who wins.

  4. Mr Young
    Unhappy

    Meanwhile in a West Gov. dept...

    1. WTF - "Only legal and registered VPNs"? That's a good one!

    2. Maybe make them Licensed as well, snigger...

    3. PROFIT!!!

    All tossers - however you look at it

  5. Don Jefe
    Meh

    Surprise?

    No. The ability to block VPN connections is certainly nothing new. It's a wonder it took this long.

    I think it is sad funny when people rail about censorship in the West but they are doing all their bitching online & that's 100% controllable if 'The Man' saw fit. The fact they can even whine should be looked at as an extremely positive thing.

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