January 10, 2017 | Online
You might be surprised to learn that the Iranian government hates porn. Gasp!
And in the country's quest to keep its citizens from wanking off to naughty pics online, it has recently managed to block over 250 x-rated sites. But the black-out is now affecting people in places like Russia, Hong Kong and India.
The government took action last Thursday, and people started to find blank pages waiting for them instead of porn. Officials relied on a trick called "BGP hacking," which redirected surfers from their expected destination to a different location by creating an online shortcut. It is "the internet equivalent of a fake street sign," according to The Verge
The problem: this technique doesn't respect borders, meaning Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as far as Russia and Hong Kong were also tricked by the fake routes, serving up blank pages to their customers.
For non-Iranian ISPs, the solution was simple: block the fake paths (which several providers have already starting doing).
And as for horny Iranians, helpful hackers quickly created covert links to take people directly to their favorite porn site.
Britain, which is trying desperately to control porn within its own borders, should take note, as banning porn is often an expensive and fruitless move.
“Despite the best attempts of censors, users are finding their way to [xHamster] using web-based proxies, VPNs, and networks like Tor,” said streaming site xHamster's spokesperson Alex Hawkins
. “Unlike political bans, porn bans may have the opposite of the intended effect by pushing otherwise apolitical citizens into networks that bypass government blockades.”
When will governments learn that the only way to block online porn would be to shut down the Internet?
Iranian Porn Filter Breaks the Internet for Innocent Sex Watchers From Russia to Hong Kong
Iran’s porn censorship broke browsers as far away as Hong Kong
Porn websites disappear after Tehran blocks them from Web even for people OUTSIDE of Iran