SAN FRANCISCO - Most computer users in Iran were blocked from accessing email, social networking and other services in recent days, US-based Internet experts said on Monday, raising fears the government is extending the reach of its surveillance on ordinary citizens.
Internet service providers presumed to be acting at the Iranian government's behest began blocking the most common form of secure connections on Friday, according to the outside experts and Iranian bloggers. Traffic rebounded to normal levels on Monday.
The cutoff apparently affected all encrypted international websites outside of Iran that depend on the Secure Sockets Layer protocol, which display addresses beginning with https, according to Earl Zmijewski of Renesys, a US company that tracks Internet traffic worldwide.
Google, which uses SSL for its Gmail service, reported that traffic from Iran to its email system fell precipitously.