Iranian government blocked Wikipedia Farsi due Coronavirus outbreak

The Coronavirus outbreak is a global emergency, in the last hours Iran is one of the countries with the highest number of infections and Wikipedia Farsi was blocked as fears spread.

The NetBlocks internet observatory, which tracks disruptions and shutdowns, revealed that Iran has blocked access to the Farsi (Persian) language edition of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia since March 2nd, 2020.

All other language editions were available in the country, except the Hebrew that was blocked in the past.

It seems that only the mobile version was reachable by Iranian users.

The restrictions were implemented for some 24 hours and the government removed them in the afternoon of March 3rd, 2010.

“Network data confirm that the blocks are technically consistent with known techniques used to restrict online platforms in Iran, with SNI filtering and DNS poisoning in place to prevent the website from loading.” reported NetBlocks.

Confirmed: #Wikipedia Farsi has been blocked in #Iran; real-time network data confirm the Iranian web edition of the online encyclopedia is now blocked by means of SNI filtering as fears over #coronavirus crisis spread online; incident ongoing https://t.co/Xs2kb80gat pic.twitter.com/tiEJKBMPv7— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) March 3, 2020The restrictions were implemented with the same mechanism used to block access to social media platforms in the country, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Iran us facing a growing crisis due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the government will temporarily release 54,000 people from prisons as officials struggle to contain the rapid spread of the epidemic. Iran has already reported more than 2,300 positive cases.

According to the experts, the Iranian government aims at fighting misinformation about the Coronavirus epidemic and criticism over its way of managing the crisis.

It seems that the restriction took place as global news media reported the death of Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a prominent advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, caused by the Coronavirus.

Anyway, Wikipedia has not removed articles related to Iran’s handling of the Coronavirus epidemic and remains the articles open for editing.

Additional technical details on how is the access to Wikipedia being restricted were reported in the post published by Netblocks.

Wikipedia Farsi blocked in Iran as coronavirus fears spread

window._mNHandle = window._mNHandle || {};
window._mNHandle.queue = window._mNHandle.queue || [];
medianet_versionId = “3121199”;

try {
window._mNHandle.queue.push(function () {
window._mNDetails.loadTag(“762221962”, “300×250”, “762221962”);
});
}
catch (error) {}

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – coronavirus, Iran)

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