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Fantastic Trip to Iran 2009: No Internet Access!

iran day access

Last Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of Iran’s storming of the American Embassy in Tehran and taking 52 people as hostages for 444 days. Apparently, this event is celebrated on a yearly basis in Iran. However this year, such ‘celebration’ was also used by the oppositions here to protest against the ruling party. Image source: Britannica

Our driver told us that there will be a protest when he came to pick us in the morning. He said that it is a yearly event here in Iran. Then when we were at work, news of the protest getting violent began to filter in.

ABC News reported:-

Iranian protesters took to the streets today as they do every Nov. 4 to mark the 30th anniversary of the U.S. embassy takeover.

But this year, opponents of the Iranian regime used the government sanctioned day of street demonstrations to challenge the hard line administration.

We had no interest in Iranian politics but the problem was strange things began to happen.

Mobile phones began to lose their coverage. Access to certain websites like Gmail, Twitter, IM Chat sites and some news agency sites began to be denied. Somehow access to blogs was still allowed but we did not know for how long this access would be allowed.

Mobile coverage came back online sometime late in the evening (depending on which operators, of course)

Whilst we understand why certain websites are being denied access by the Government, what we don’t understand is why access to our office mails are also being affected. Some flash-based web pages are also failed to work. We had a hard time communicating with our colleagues back in Kuala Lumpur on system-related issues.

I guess for now we just have to get used to the unannounced web access restrictions whilst we are in this country. We just hope that there are no future demonstrations planned for the next few weeks, otherwise, it is going to have serious implications on our communications back to Malaysia.

As of today, access to certain sites is still restricted….

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