'Technical glitch' brings down Iran cyberwall

September 17, 2013
Iranians use computers at a cybercafe in Tehran, on May 14, 2013. A technical glitch has allowed some Iranians temporary access to banned social networking websites Facebook and Twitter, an Iranian Internet official said on Tuesday.

A technical glitch allowed some Iranians temporary access to banned social networking websites Facebook and Twitter, an Iranian Internet official said on Tuesday.

Surprised Internet users in Iran Monday night were able to log onto their accounts without using illegal software that enables them to circumvent a widespread state-run filtering mechanism.

They voiced their delight online, with posts revelling in the rare web freedom—restricted in 2009 when enabled protesters to organise anti-government demonstrations in the aftermath of a disputed presidential election.

"Dear friends in America, do you believe miracles?! Well one has just apparently happened in Iran and the government in Tehran has lifted its filtering on Facebook!!!," said an overwhelmed Mehdi on his page.

Ali joined in, referring to the election of moderate President Hassan Rowhani, who has promised to bring more social freedoms.

He said in a tweet: "Twitter and Facebook has been freed! Rowhani thank you!"

But on Tuesday, Iranian state media reported that the unblocked access—to the websites the Iranian regime considers as undermining the Islamic regime—was being investigated.

Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, the secretary of an official group tasked with detecting Internet content deemed illegal, told the Mehr news agency that "it was apparently due to a and the committee is investigating it."

"If there had been any negligence, it will be punished," he said adding that he was unsure of the origin of the problem.

Such incidents have happened in the past, giving Iranians temporary, unfiltered access to the Internet.

But by Tuesday morning, access to the sites was once again blocked.

A Twitter user, Sima, was dismayed: "What a joy was last night, logging onto Twitter without the VPN ... #sigh."

The incident came a few days after Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had its Twitter account officially verified by the site—even though it is technically illegal for him to have one at all.

Iran systematically blocks access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and numerous other sites, including blogs and pornographic pages, as it tries to stop its population from surfing content it deems threatening or immoral.

Explore further: Iran blocks email, restricts net access: reports

Related Stories

Iran blocks email, restricts net access: reports

February 12, 2012

Iran has further restricted access to the Internet and blocked popular email services for the past few days, in a move a top lawmaker said could "cost the regime dearly," media reports said on Sunday.

Iran seeks to work with Facebook against porn

July 24, 2012

(AP) — A semi-official Iranian news agency says police hope to work with Facebook to fight cyber-crimes and pornography — a turnabout in Tehran's stance toward the social networking giant that it previously banned ...

Iran blocks access to Gmail

September 24, 2012

Iran blocked access to Google's popular and relatively secure Gmail service Monday amid first steps by the Islamic republic to establish a walled-off national intranet separate from the worldwide Internet.

Iran foreign minister says Facebook page hacked

September 15, 2013

The Facebook page of Iran's foreign minister was taken over briefly by unidentified hackers who protested against the crackdown on protesters after the disputed 2009 presidential election, media reported Saturday.

Recommended for you

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.