LIVERPOOL, England, May 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
- Russian VPN traffic sees 791% surge
- Iranian VPN traffic sees 382% surge within 24-hours
- Citizens fighting back against restrictive government lock-downs
Leading privacy advocate BestVPN.com saw a 382% jump in web traffic from Iran as the nation announced that it was to join Russia in banning the popular instant messenger service, Telegram.
Iran has claimed that the service provided Islamic State with "safe ground" to plan a terrorist attack in Tehran last year and cited its use in the spread of political opposition against the government. The regime has long signalled its disapproval of the messaging app.
Thousands of people have gathered on the streets of Moscow to protest Russia's recent blocking of Telegram. The ruling was made Friday 13th April in a case brought by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), which claims that Telegram is used by "international terrorist organizations in Russia".
Following the ruling, BestVPN.com noticed a surge in VPN usage, with Russian traffic to the domain increasing by 335% from April to March, peaking at a staggering 791% when the story first broke.
The Iranian government has instructed domestic Internet providers to block Telegram, but it is unclear whether it will go to the lengths Russia has to prevent access to the app. Russia has been willing to risk disruption to the internet by blocking Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Compute Engine (GCE) cloud networks, which Telegram uses to evade blocks.
"The actions of the Iranian government are a blatant and misappropriated attack on freedoms of its citizens, enshrined in international law," said Sean McGrath, editor of BestVPN.com. "These are unprecedented times. There is no end in sight for the conflict in Syria. Now with President Trump threatening to pull out of the JCPOA, the region could be plunged into further turmoil."
"Restricting access to knowledge and obstructing information will only serve to further destabilize the region."
CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, stated that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the only way to guarantee access to Telegram. As BestVPN.com's figures show, it appears that both Russians and Iranians are taking this advice and turning to VPNs.
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