Iran blocks tech blog for reporting on Stuxnet worm

Iran has apparently blocked the technology website Ars Technica for reporting on the Stuxnet virus, which has been found targeting industrial systems in the Middle Eastern nation.

According to a post published Monday, no traffic from Iran has been able to access the site since it published a second piece on the Stuxnet worm on Sept. 27. Iranian users reported being re-directed to this screen, which is the standard response from the Iranian government's firewall when a resident attempts to access a blocked site.

"The point of the ban isn't clear, but it definitely highlights how easy it is for governments to start cracking down on whatever sites they like once they have the proper tools in place and have centralized all Internet links leaving/entering the country," wrote senior Apple editor Jacqui Cheng. "And, as the traffic logs show, it can be surprisingly effective at discouraging casual users from viewing unwanted content."

Like many other nations — including China and Pakistan — the Iranian government often censors Web content it deems offensive or critical of the government. Iran's ability to control the flow of information on the Web came to the forefront during last year's so-called "Twitter Revolution," where the government clamped down in response to the use of Twitter to coordinate political protests following the general election.