While Iran erupts again with protesters against dictatorial rule, Reporters Without Borders finds massive attempts by authorities to shut down modern communications (a futile act, and only temporarily successful, that shows its desperation):
The Iranian censors targeted the new-generation media with renewed energy. The authorities have responded, blow by blow, to demonstrations in recent months but this is the first time that have acted with so much anticipation:
Internet connections been blocked or slow since 5 December, especially in Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz, making it difficult or impossible to surf the Internet or send emails, several sources in Iran told Reporters Without Borders. One referred ironically to broadband speeds of less than 56Kb (dial-up speed). The Gmail and Yahoo! welcome pages do not display. Access to proxies is haphazard, complicating the use of censorship circumvention methods to access such blocked websites as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. Mobile phone and SMS service are also suspended or jammed in many parts of the country including Tehran.
Agence France-Presse quoted technicians as saying these problems were the result of a “decision by the authorities” rather than any breakdown in service. The main Internet service providers use the network of the state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Despite the existence of privately-owned companies, the state dominates this sector and any instructions it issues are immediately implemented.