I hesitated whether to open a new thread or continue with Iran Internet shutdown due to protests, but it seemed to me that this new topic allows for specific discussion of internet blockades, which seem to be more and more in the world.
Efforts to reinstate digital lifelines in Iran center around two goals. Both broadband internet and mobile data are suffering outages, thanks to what are essentially internet “off” switches—infrastructure the regime has spent years investing in. So one area of focus is the potential to establish alternative connections, namely through satellite services. But the government is also filtering and blocking access to specific digital services even when people can connect to Wi-Fi or mobile data. This means people inside and outside of the country are also attempting to provide technical workarounds so Iranians can maintain access to vital services that would otherwise be inaccessible, like WhatsApp and Instagram. Given the extent of the government’s control, the logistical hurdles, and extensive global sanctions currently in place against Iran, progress is slow.
Amir Rashidi (director of internet security and digital rights at the Iran-focused human rights organization Miaan Group) says that all email providers, including Yahoo Mail and Mail.com, are blocked. (Perhaps counterintuitively, Gmail, iCloud, and ProtonMail are still accessible.) Messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram are also blocked, and the government is even cutting access to many video games because of their chat functions.