Iran’s government seems to be ramping up its censorship of popular websites, targeting Google’s encrypted search, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Videos, among others. The government began blocking these sites Feb. 10, the company confirmed.
People who tried to access Google’s sites, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft’s Hotmail, or foreign news pages, were greeted with a message that “Access to this page is a violation of computer crime laws" or the connection was severely slowed to make sites impossible to access, the AFP reported.
VPNs (virtual private networks) used to be a solution for Internet users, but this stricter crackdown means those aren’t even an option now.
Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter were already blocked in the country. This filtering has impacted other sites secured with SSL (secure socket layer) protocol, such as Amazon.
News of the websites are being blacked out comes a year after the 2011 Iranian protests, which were filled with death, injuries, and arrests.