Armenian Bloggers Confirm Top Websites Blocked in Iran

On: June 17, 2009
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About Marijn de Vries Hoogerwerff
Marijn de Vries Hoogerwerff is a New Media theorist, Web researcher and Internet entrepreneur. In 1999 he started working as IT professional at the broadband Internet Service Provider @home (a franchise of the ISP and search engine company Excite@Home). After working here for over eight years he decided to pursue a study in New Media at the University of Amsterdam. During this study he has been an active member of the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI) research group, working together in a strong team of designers, programmers and theorists to develop new Web-specific methods and tools for doing online research and has written in depth about Internet censorship research, code consciousness and cyber-cosmopolitanism. Next to several stand-alone projects he also started up CYBERLIFE, focusing on building Web-applications, sites and tools, Web hosting and doing Web research. After receiving his Master degree in New Media he continued his contributions to the DMI, has helped organize the Society of the Query conference for the Institute of Network Cultures and has been a thesis supervisor at the University of Applied Sciences (HvA) for Interactive Media. His current company, nochii BV, focusses on utilizing theoretical knowledge and practical experience to help companies get a better understanding about the Web, their network and the space they occupy and its relation to the offline. He holds the strong believe that the Web, both as infrastructure and as concept, can aid in dealing with the increasing complexity of the world (both online as offline) and the relating problematics.

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During the Internet training workshop held at the Caucasus Institute, Yerevan, led by Prof. Richard Rogers of the University of Amsterdam, sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Cloob, MySpace, Twitter and the BBC were are confirmed to be blocked in Iran today. They report that:

It appears that the entire sites are inaccessible, according to research carried out at the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan, Armenia, a country bordering Iran. Researchers used a series of proxy servers, located in Iran, and tried to access a series of popular Websites. They took screenshots of the blocked sites as evidence, showing a message from the Iranian state censor, with the reply email address, filter@dci.ir.* The sites appear to be blocked in their entirety, as not only sensitive pages (the BBC’s Perian-language page) but also the homepages are blocked. Cloob.com, an alternative to Facebook, and TinyPic, the video-uploading alternative to YouTube, are also blocked. Other election-related sites in Iran are down, too, owing to apparent denial of service attacks as opposed to state Internet censorship. The winner of the disputed Iranian presidential elections on 12 June, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has seen his blog (Ahmadinejad.ir) overloaded.

The research was carried out by Sergey Gagloyev, Asya Umarova, Lusine Manukyan, Arshaluis Mghdesyan, Aida Mirmaksumova, Akhmed Istamilov, Norayr Iskandaryan, Gor Mislyaev, Garen Atoyan and Luiza Galanteryan.

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