Demand for VPN increases in Iran as protests continue according to researchers. Iranians are at the moment fighting to overcome the censorship of both Instagram and WhatsApp by the government and are thus seeking out virtual private networks in huge numbers.
Demand for VPN Increases in Iran As Protests Continue
The demand for virtual private network apps has spiked over 3,000% in Iran according to researchers, following the attempt by Iranian authorities to block in-country access to both Instagram and WhatsApp on September 21. The latest censorship efforts by the government in response to the surge of protests that have continued to take place all through the country over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who passed on in the custody of morality police in Iran.
Amini Was Detained On September 13 by the Tehran Morality Police
Initially, Amini was detained on September 13 by the Tehran morality police who are tasked with enforcing the Islamic republic’s strict dress code, for allegedly wearing the Islamic headscarf loosely. She later died three days after falling into a coma. The Police states that Amini suffered a heart attack although family members said that Amini had no history of a heart condition. The father of the girl later said that Amini had bruises on her leg.
Protests erupted in Saqez, Kurdistan which is the hometown of Amini on September 17 during her funeral and since has continued across Iran and the world. Iranian authorities have responded to the protests by restricting internet access to various websites and throttling speeds at certain hours. Tons of websites are banned in Iran already where censorship efforts have since 2016 spiked dramatically.
Top10VPN Researchers Measured a Surge of Over 3,000% in Demand for VPNs
Independent researchers at Top10VPN measured a surge of over 3,000% in demand for VPNs, which are used to routinely circumvent censorship efforts of the internet. The spike was measured by researchers from September 22 to October 3.
Simon Migliano, head of research at Top10VPN’s in an update this week said, “Demand for VPN services to circumvent the social media blocks rocketed by 2,164% on Sept. 22 compared to the 28 days prior. VPN demand rose further still in the following days, peaking at 3,082% higher than before the protests on Sept. 26.”
Migliano said that the average daily demand for the services of VPN has since remained very high following the recent peak, with demand now at 1,991% which is way above the normal baseline.