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Blocking of Wikipedia reported in Iran

According to news published in English and Persian on July 25, the Wikipedia free encyclopedia website was blocked in Iran and could not be accessed. No reason or other information was given but a screenshot of the blocked site.

An investigation I conducted shows that on the morning of July 29, the Wikipedia website was available in Iran; however, the reporting Persian website (balatarin.com) was blocked in that country. The site was blocked owing to its position against the government and its “crucial role in the pro-democracy movement in Iran”.  Another reason for blocking it was that “news on many of the human rights violations were published on Balatarin for the first time”. For this reason, “Iranian government has in numerous occasions blamed Balatarin, as well as Facebook and Twitter, as the “plotters” in the post-election riots in Iran”.

This example is a testimony to the phenomenon that prevails in Iran for many years: there are websites which are blocked permanently in the country, while others are blocked from time to time due to a specific cause.

In addition, state authorities have been coping for years with differences of Internet blocking in Iran, owing to the existence of many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which fulfill the government policy in different ways. As a result, sites are blocked in one region while the same sites are available in other regions. To avoid this problem, the Iranian government worked several years ago to establish a comprehensive system based on an Iranian software company, in order to create one unified filtering system which makes it possible to deal with different bypass tools.

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About טל פבל

ד"ר למזרח תיכון. מרצה, פרשן, חוקר ומומחה לטכנולוגיה, אינטרנט וסייבר במזרח התיכון ובעולם האסלאמי. בעל האתר Middleeasternet.