Late last year Iranian leaders made it a criminal offense to bypass the country's Internet filters using VPNs or any other technology. The announcement
by Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour insisted the move was made to combat a "soft war being waged by Western countries against Iran (read: we want to spy on our own citizens and stifle information exchange among government critics). Amusingly, Iranian leaders recently issued a fatwa about getting around the filters -- a fatwa that was immediately filtered
The website Tabnak reports that Khamenei's "fatwa" on the illegality of using antifiltering tools in Iran was itself blocked in the country, some 30 hours after it was published on Iranian websites. The ruling was seemingly filtered because it contained the word "antifiltering," which triggered the country's censorship system to automatically block it.
Meanwhile, Iran has also recently made it illegal
for local banks, insurance firms and telephone operators to use foreign-sourced email services like Gmail to communicate with clients.