Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Experiences with Technology in Iran this week

Due to some technical blog problems, I am reposting this entry.

I tried to go to the Craigslist website today and I got this error message.

I don’t know how to break through the blocked site restrictions, since the proxy sites were also blocked. However my cousin knows his way around it so I will ask him when I see him later today. I have seen these blocks before, but they are still sad.

Today I spoke to someone at Parsonline, a leading internet service provider in Iran, about getting high speed internet at my grandmother’s northern Tehran apartment. The highest speed DSL here is $500 a month, with a $60 connection fee! Dial up is only 12 dollars a month, and the ADSL connections range from ~$20-$500, depending on the connection speed. 512 kbps is still the maximum uploading speed, with a maximum download speed of 1024 kbps, at $500 a month!

I rented a cell phone line yesterday. First, I had to break the code that Cingular had on my phone—which I did break for around $15 dollars at a store that buys and sells cell phones. My cousin has an extra cell phone line, so I am using his SIM card and renting one of his lines for my time here. The flat rates here for cell phone rental are ~$30 a month, not including the cost per minute of the cell phone (700 Rials, which is ~8 cents per minute). No free weekends and evenings for phone calls, but at least the lines are much cheaper than they were over a year ago (from over ~$1000 for a line last year, they are now ~$650, with a long waiting list). There are also pay as you go phones, which I am told do not work as well and lack the reception of other mobile phone lines.

Since it is so much cheaper to send text messages here, text messaging is extremely popular. Two of my friends who I will be interviewing while I am here work in the telecommunications industry. I am looking forward to meeting up with them, and also getting their perspectives on the future of Iranian telecom.


At 7/23/2006 11:18 PM, Anonymous matt said...


i know you didn't want to overly politicize this project, but i'm
curious about internet censorship. you said the proxies were blocked.
which ones? where did you get the proxies? there are dozens of
anonymous proxies from all other the world you can try...did any of
those work?

also, what's your cousin's method for getting around it? or, if you
don't want to tell me over email, that's fine.

At 7/30/2006 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a link my friend will be emailing me today that works as an anti-filter or "feelter-shekan."

Plus, I can't believe you're in town. Hook a baradar up. Let's hang out. Let's kick it.

I like the blog. Be careful of those random drivers who are willing to pick you up and drop you off.

Ghabelee Nadare,

Dash Fi-Fi

At 7/31/2006 6:17 PM, Anonymous Mischa said...

This link explains how to use proxy servers from iran.

Can you access the beeb ? check, and let me know :)

And this is the article that i am refering to :

At 8/15/2006 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kheng-e Khoda,

Mentioning the Mac software publicly on this blog was a incredibly stupid idea. This is the problem with people like you. You may be leaving Tehran soon, but the rest of us have to live and breathe here. Thanks for being completely irresponsible and possibly ruining things for many of us Mac users.

Many of the people I've spoken to about this were furious. Many were actually glad that you haven't figured out how to use the software. This information was told you in confidence and we all regret that it was ever mentioned to you.

Reality check: Hit this link from just two days ago.

Watch your back.

At 8/15/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger Paris Marashi said...

Hey...I appreciate your showing me that I should not have mentioned the name of the software--That was a bad move on my part, I would never want to be a conduit to more filtering, and I am glad I recognized it, after you said something.

This is what the post was like (except for one word):


I can access BBC, but BBC Persian is blocked. Some sites are easy to get into by going through some other sites...but I cannot get into the link you just sent me through it, or to any sites that you have to sign in to (such as flickr or snapfish).

Most of the people that I know here, that are using antiblock software, have pc's. My friend sent me some software for a mac [secret name here], but it stops downloading automatically before it completes, and I have tried to download it at least 20 times.

It is ok for now, but I am more concerned for people that have to deal with this all the time.

At 8/17/2006 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kheng-e Khoda,

Just to prove to you that you ARE a "conduit", just try to access the proxy that "Mischa" posted just days ago. Of course it won't work anymore!

When talking about your blog, you said yourself that you wanted to foster communication between the Iranian/American community here and abroad and that... "This communication can only begin with us, where we are now"...blah...blah...blah.

O.K., then, first start by opening your eyes and truly understaning where YOU are now girl!


At 8/18/2006 6:19 AM, Blogger Paris Marashi said...

Dear Anonymous person who does not say who they actually are:

The ghandichi link never worked to begin with--from the day it was posted in the comments. So please, do not jump into conclusions before you start spamming someone elses blog.

The person who sent me that link doesn't live in Iran and had no way of knowing it was already blocked in Iran before he sent it.

My advice to you is to chill out--rather than calling me childish names and trying so hard to prove me wrong!


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