The Iranian government, which has been lovingly lambasted repeatedly by yours truly in the past, made news again the last few days. The Ayatollah’s lackeys, no doubt upon the order of their theocratic puppet master, have essentially made it impossible for people within Iran to access SSL/TLS websites (basically any site that uses https instead of http) outside of the country. So if you live in Tehran and were looking forward to a Gmail from your cousin in Poughkeepsie, you’re SOL, buddy.
Western organizations, like The Tor Project, are working to get around these new blocks, but it will take time to figure out the best way to get Iranians access to non-government-sanctioned social media and news sites again.
This move essentially cuts Iran off from the vast majority of the Internet, which has been often decried by members of the Iranian government as a vast spying tool for the United States because, well, we’ve got all the cool websites. Obviously Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and the like HAVE TO be in bed with the federal government, because in Iran having such industries not being entirely beholden to the Supreme Leader and his corrupt regime is unthinkable. What they don’t realize is that the reason they don’t make anything useful or invent anything interesting is exactly because industry is beholden to government.
Of course, for the Iranian government to realize that oppressive theocracies have a negative impact on quality of life for citizens and innovation by businesses would be in extremely poor taste right before the 33rd anniversary of the glorious Islamic Revolution. In fact, many Iranians who, despite the wishes of mental midgets like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, still use their brains on a regular basis, believe that this communications blackout is most likely happening to keep people from organizing protests against the government during celebrations of the institution of Islamic social bondage.