Filternet: Internet situation in Iran

What we deal with in our country everyday!

What is the definition and image you have in your mind from the word “Internet”?

I guess many of you will say; it’s a tool; we use it to achieve what we want. I’m telling this because when you look at something as a tool you think about its functionality and how it can help you to do something but most of the times we don’t think of that tool itself because it’s just a tool, we got it and we expect it works for us.

Internet connection in many countries is exactly that tool; you have it on your computer, on your mobile, you can choose the speed you need, you decide what to surf over the web and if you live in a free country you won’t be forced to obey others’ opinions on how you’re using this tool but there is a different situation in some other countries like China, Syria, Cuba and my country: Iran.

Let me tell you some of limitations we have in Iran:

  • Home users can’t access to Internet connection higher than 128 Kb/S (It’s about 10 KB/S download speed rate)
  • Monthly traffic for most users is very limited (average 3 GB per month)
  • Most websites are blocked! Bear in mind, you can hardly find an English news website that is not blocked in Iran!
  • Website blockage rules are very stupid. Many websites containing the French plural definition word “Les” are blocked because it’s an abbreviation for “Lesbian”!!
  • Most social networks are blocked: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flicker, etc.; they say these are enemies’ tools; the funny part is that some candidates of the upcoming Presidential elections in Iran are posting huge updates using this “filtered” social networks: Hassan Rouhani and Saeed Jalili official accounts on Twitter!
  • All VPN connections and other types of bypassing this censorship are almost disabled by authorities and if you find a proxy to bypass it you will experience a bad speed decrease.
  • You may even lost this “poor” Internet connection whenever and they always say “A boat has crashed the cable in the ocean!!”
  • You can’t object to your connection outage; ISP support’s answer is always: “The problem is nationwide, we can’t do anything”
  • Connecting to most websites over HTTPS is “Mission Impossible”; it includes the services you use easily in your country everyday: Gmail, Yahoo, etc.
  • Developers need to use some protocols such as SSH for their daily job; it’s very very slow most of the times (e.g. pulling some source code from GitHub at the rate of 2 KB/S!)
  • … and many more issues which you can’t even imagine.

This situation has reached a point that users in Iran call it “Filternet” instead of Internet!

I said all these to conclude something: having Internet connection in this century is a basic right for every human being. Free societies understand this and try to help their civilians have a better life; closed societies, like Iran, under the rule of dictators know this as a threat and limit it more and more; the immediate result is a huge amount of time and energy which is wasted in such countries every day.

If you live in a free country with a good access to Internet, please know what you have and as a human being ask your governments to put pressures on dictators in countries like Iran to stop this animal behavior with their citizens.

By Medium


The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.