Iranians’ sudden access to Facebook and Twitter a tech glitch

(Or to gather info about it’s citizens?) Facebook and Twitter users in Iran unexpectedly got unhindered access to US-based social networks sparking hopes that the blocks had been removed – only to find several hours later that it was no more than a computer glitch.

On Monday evening , ordinary Iranians were suddenly able to access all their social networking accounts.

Many initially thought that the sudden development was a result of the fresh policies of newly elected president Hassan Rouhani – Iran’s moderate cleric leader, who has expressed his desire for a more open and cooperative Iran and is generally perceived, even by the West, to be a more transparent partner.

A great many Facebook users rejoiced and made posts saying things like “Rouhani, Mochakerim” (“Thank you, Rouhani” in Farsi). One user even wrote “God liberated Facebook.”

However, on Tuesday it was revealed by the government that the brief absence of filters was due to a glitch in the system. A secretary of a state committee on internet filtering, Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, said that some technical difficulties with a few Iranian service providers (ISPs) had resulted in temporary access, and that the government is now investigating the source of the problem.

The secretary told the local Mehr news agency that “the lack of a filter on Facebook last night [Monday] was apparently due to technical problems and the technological committee is investigating this issue… We are investigating to see which of these [ISPs] has done this.”

He added that if the action was deliberate, punishment will follow.

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