Iranian leadership has followed the example of Pakistan and banned the used of Encryption and VPN technology in order to “combat a “soft war” being waged by Western countries against Iran (read: make it easier for the Iranian government to spy on its own citizens).
According to an announcement by Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour, who says the use of antifiltering tools and virtual private networks (VPN) is a crime.
Many Iranians use such tools and proxies on a daily basis to bypass the country’s Internet censorship, which is among the world’s toughest. Iran blocks millions of websites and blogs deemed immoral or against the country’s national interests or that offer uncensored news and information.
One of the blocked websites is Facebook, which is used by 17 million Iranians, according to statistics from a Basij militia official.
“Based on the law, the use of VPNs or other antifiltering software is forbidden and considered a crime,” said Taghipour, who also said Tehran was able to counter the new antifiltering tools.