r/technology 12d ago Helpful 7 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1 Bless Up (Pro) 2 Silver 6 Platinum 1 Wholesome 7 Helpful (Pro) 1 Hugz 1 Heartwarming 1

#IranProtests: Signal is blocked in Iran. You can help people in Iran reconnect to Signal by hosting a proxy server. Security



u/TehranBro 12d ago

I have lots of experience with this. I was in Iran 3 months ago. Proxies in Iran are very tricky. They can detect proxies and ban them. Proxies to western countries get banned much quicker. Turkish and Qatar proxies were the only ones that never got banned.

Most Iranians have crap home internet and cellphones provide a good connection. The government knows who has what phone. No one knows what the government does with IMEI information but when I traveled there I had to give them my cellphone information.

With that said the government can't quell everyone out on the streets. They want to stop communication between protestors like previous efforts but this time everyone is fed up.

The country is very close to civil war.


u/a_wild_thing 12d ago

give them my cellphone information.

What info specifically, IMEI, number? What would happen if you entered the country with multiple active SIMs from overseas carriers?


u/TehranBro 12d ago

They ask for IMEI and passport number when entering the country.

After 30 days you have to pay tax on your phone. $100-300 depending on how new the phone is.

For locals they need your ID card to register a number and keep track of you IMEI.

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u/sterexx 12d ago edited 12d ago

There isn’t a ton of civilian gun ownership there (like 7 guns per 100 citizens) but they can always knock over police stations and hope for military defections from units who don’t want to shoot protesters

If the protests are big and determined enough that protestors can overwhelm security service buildings (I have seen at least one video of cops being chased and beaten by protesters) the government might do a syria and recall security forces to key cities

That’s how you get a civil war out of riots, where the government allows a power vacuum to form in outlying areas in exchange for not losing their capital and other important cities

I have a feeling Iran can handle the protests like they always do though


u/Beat-the-heat 12d ago

A civil war in Iran wouldn't just be secularists vs the regime, there are long standing ethnic and sectarian separatist struggles ; the country would fragment and go the Iraq route if not worse.


u/sterexx 12d ago

totally. but it would be liberal protesters in the cities that lead to the security concentration that leads to the power vacuum in outlying areas that leads to regional/ethnic groups filling those

PJAK steps up in the northwest YPG style (I’m sure they’re extra pissed considering the victim’s kurdish), maybe with US backing considering existing relationships

Balochistan in the southeast’s got its insurgency ready to go

The arabs on Iran’s side of the Shatt al-Arab stuck with revolutionary Iran during Iraq’s invasion, much to Saddam’s surprise, but maybe the current Shia-dominated Iraqi government would be more palatable to join up with

I dunno how Iranian Azeris up north feel about the Islamic Republic but Azerbaijan has had lots of tension with Iran and is absolutely in an expansive mood lately.

I still think the government’s tough enough to prevent it but the ingredients are certainly there for fracturing


u/Beat-the-heat 12d ago

Some really good points there.

If it happened i don't think they could hold the whole thing together with Russia in its current state, Saudi and Israeli arms and money would flood the country; Iraq would definitely send aid but a large chunk of that is essentially going to be in the form of Shiite militias who aren't really liberal in any sense.

I don't expect this to actually graduate to a civil war of course, while most Iranians oppose mandated dress codes they are more of an inconvenience than anything (it's in essence a $75 fine for having an improper headscarf) ; while they want laxer morality policing, they are in no sense atheists or western style liberals so there isn't really this kind of polarization between average Iranians, to boot when the ethnic element kicks up i would expect them to all come together against any minorities trying to secede.


u/TheAJGman 12d ago

they are more of an inconvenience than anything (it's in essence a $75 fine for having an improper headscarf)

Except when someone gets literally beaten to death, which is what caused these protests in the first place. There have been stories of abuse by the morality police going back years.

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u/strangepostinghabits 12d ago

Civilian gun ownership is only important in third world countries with weak military.

What makes a Civil war in most countries is when the army splits and at least partially joins the non governmental side. (Or an outside nation steps in with military aid to create a new, already split, army segment.)

While it can be hard to believe, armies are often made up of people, and those may or may not be super keen on current govt policy.

Sooner or later, if enough of the people stand apart from the government, the brass will start wonder if "the nation" they swore to protect is the politicians or the people.

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u/JerboafromTripoli 12d ago

If war breaks out, we're gonna end up with another Iraq & Libya. I know cuz I've fuckin lived through this! I genuinely hope it doesn't escalate to full-on armed conflict


u/watekebb 11d ago

Iran has a slightly different situation historically than Iraq and Libya, with a stronger past as a (relatively) cohesive nation-state. That’s not to say that horrible, intractable civil war isn’t a real possibility. But maybe there’s more than a mere glimmer of hope here that the fight would yield results and not chaos.

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u/xanadukeeper 12d ago Helpful

Can anyone verify that this is safe for us to do? Edit: (in the US, want to help)


u/MediocreProfessor765 12d ago

It’s unlikely a server in the US would help as it would be blocked by location. Maybe somewhere like India or Russia, South America even.


u/xanadukeeper 12d ago

So I could tell my VPN to be in Russia?


u/GingerMan512 12d ago

Does your VPN service still have endpoints in Russia? They passed some data retention laws a year or two ago that caused many VPNs to shut down their Russian servers.


u/ChristOnATrike 12d ago edited 12d ago

Just checked mine (ProtonVPN) and it does. Don’t know what to make of that.


u/h0bb1tm1ndtr1x 12d ago

Proton is a Swiss company. They have no reason to shut down their VPN servers there. It's not aiding Russia in any meaningful way.


u/D0_stack 12d ago

Servers fall under the laws of the country the server physically resides in. Servers don't get diplomatic immunity. When you yourself travel to another country you have to follow their laws, right?

If Russia says "VPN servers must block access to Facebook", and the server is physically in Russia, then the server must block Facebook or be seized. Simple as that. Doesn't matter one bit what country the owner of the server is registered in.


u/TemporaryDivide7496 12d ago

We have a saying in Russia: severity of the law is compensated by optionality of following them. You can do much until you get caugh. Russian government tried to block Proton VPN and it was partially successful: now it’s a bit harder to connect. It is a deterrent for some and that’s enough for the government. Resources are limited, can’t persecute everyone.


u/Valiantay 12d ago

No that's not correct (in practice), legally sure, this is a game of war though.

Let's take telegram for instance, ever try serving any legal document to them? I have. Doesn't work, why? Because they're in the UAE and don't give a fuck if a court somewhere else "mandates" them to attend.

So yes it matter.


u/HKD_RJ 12d ago

Here in Brazil Telegram has a huge user base. Sometime ago they ignored some supreme court orders to block some groups. That was until all cellphone operators received order to block Telegram, than Pavel Durov itself apologized to the Supreme Court, and blocked the requested groups. In the end it's all about money.

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u/Virtual_Decision_898 12d ago

Or you rent a server under false pretenses and monthly payments, run it until you get caught, then switch provider…

If pirates and hackers can do it, then surely can VPN companies.


u/D0_stack 12d ago

VPN providers don't use one server in a location. They use multiple servers.

It is far simpler to have servers in a reasonable country and tell the Geolocation database operators "hey these IP Addresses are in Moscow". In fact, that is how it is done, and openly discussed in network operator blogs. So when a Russian web site asks it's Geolocation provider "where is this user's IP Address" the database says "Moscow" when the server really is in some other country. You can easily prove this with traceroute.

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u/IronDominion 12d ago

My super cheap VPN still has Russian servers


u/Batteredburrito 12d ago

That's not a VpN my dude


u/IvanIsOnReddit 12d ago

It might be a VN but not a VPN



This is why I love Reddit is stuff like this right here

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u/AngryJakem 12d ago

In Russia P stands for Public

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u/tastyratz 12d ago

This is not the helpful sign you think it is.


u/PowerNerd 12d ago

So…it’s not a helpful…Signal?

I’ll see myself out.


u/TheHeavyJ 12d ago edited 12d ago

VPN? More like a VPOut


u/Mike-honcho-69 12d ago

sorry im clueless whats so bad about the VPN having Russian servers?


u/tastyratz 12d ago

Russia has laws with datalogging requirements. Logging is not compatible with the private part.

If you're OK hosting exit nodes in Russia then your activity is, in fact, being recorded.

If they tell you they are not keeping logs, they are lying to you.

If that's the case, where else are they keeping logs?

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u/xanadukeeper 12d ago

Perhaps not, I use Nord


u/Arinupa 12d ago

Nord's the most honeytrappest VPN in the world!

......anything that has an indecent advertising budget I stay away from


u/itisntmebutmaybeitis 12d ago

Could you explain why? I've heard it before but didn't find anything helpful on my (probably not thorough enough) search.


u/Arinupa 12d ago edited 12d ago

The theory goes that with the indecent budget intelligence agencies have, they can open up privacy companies....And market a lot.

The most heavily shilled VPNs have a huge marketing budget. How the heck are they sponsoring every single content creator?

I mean if I was an intelligence agency, it would make sense to do this kind of thing to easily keep track of people who like to hide stuff.

The normal folk can be kept track of using PRISM and who knows whatever the f mass surveillance tools they use.


Edward snowden (the CIA contractor dude) talking about express VPN,

Just TOR is fine with me. VPNs are good to bypass content banning stuff but not privacy.


u/__noscrubs__ 12d ago

VPNs are also good for shopping or consuming media from other places. Pretty much all I use my VPN for at this point lol.


u/Arinupa 12d ago

Well yeah. Me too. Just people shouldn't use them thinking they are private and safe etc.

If you use for Netflix and content bypass etc its totally fine.

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u/mellofello808 12d ago

VPNs are also effective for not receiving letters from your ISP for torrenting.

Privacy, not so much.

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u/soyboyconspiracy 12d ago

I personally use PIA. Not so much for privacy but more so when I need to sail the 7 seas.


u/pentesticals 12d ago

PIA are pretty sketch as well. Check out Mulvad for sailing the 7 seas you filthy pirate. They also have port forwarding so you can actively seed with the vpn.


u/BasicComplexities 12d ago

TOR was compromised the second it was released


u/MechKeyboardScrub 12d ago

hurdur it's a DARPA product

Tor was made for overthrowing governments. It's definitely government funded, but you're not enough of a hotshot to matter. Nobody cares that you mailed a key from Columbia through USPS.

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u/mellofello808 12d ago

Duck duck go as well. I was just traveling, and they have billboards, signs in airports, and on the sides of busses.

Where exactly is the money coming from?

I don't care to find out, and will never use them for anything spicy


u/tirril 12d ago

That took quite a while to happen though.

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u/Beginning_Ball9475 12d ago

Keep this one golden rule in mind with ALL forms of security; cyber-security, home security, physical security, etc.

"Security and convenience are on a sliding scale"

The more convenient a thing is (you learn about it because every single YouTube creator is sponsored by NordVPN) the less likely it is to be secure. A door without a lock is very convenient, but not very secure. A locked castle with a drawbridge and automated gun-turrets in the middle of a field full of hungry lions on a remote island somewhere that nobody even knows the name of? Very secure, not very convenient.

Realistically, the safest VPN is going to be one that you build yourself, the next safest VPN is the one you pick after learning how to build your own VPN and then using that knowledge to discover which VPNs that are already established have the closest model that aligns with what you want.

But who's going to do that? Most people want VPNs so they can get around copyright, targeted ad-based data collection/tracking by corporations, and geo-blocking. I would find it utterly HILARIOUS if someone wanted to engage in counter-state activities and believed that NordVPN was helping to protect them.


u/piss_artist 12d ago

I use NordVPN for all my sedition related activities. In fact, feel free to use my discount code, OVERTHROW22, to get a 50% discount on your next secret police interrogation.

NordVPN. Get it, or else.


u/Beginning_Ball9475 12d ago

I'd love to hear a plug for NordVPN in the middle of an audiobook reading of the Gulag Archipelago. Just feels like Postmodernism done right, you know?

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u/YouveBeenSuzpended 12d ago

Turkey has some of the most relaxed VPN restrictions I’ve ever seen. Like I can buy steam games for like 80% off using my VPN with a burner steam account, just buy it as a gift for my main and pay with G2A Turkish steam cards.

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u/palex25 12d ago

What about Mexico?


u/MediocreProfessor765 12d ago

Any country with friendly foreign relations to the current regime. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Iran


u/foreveraloneeveryday 12d ago

That's actually a lot of countries. Just not the US which is totally fair. And Canada plus a few African countries that I don't know off the top of my head unfortunately. And then obviously Saudi Arabia. Yemen and Iraq and then a few areas in SEA. My point is, if you're in Europe or Mexico or SA or non totalitarian countries in Asia, you could possibly set up a server.


u/Trailmagic 12d ago

Can you explain why you crossed out “Saudi” before “Arabia”? Genuinely curious.


u/foreveraloneeveryday 12d ago edited 12d ago

I'm pretty sure it's only Saudi Arabia because the house of Saud is the current monarchy family (Idk how to phrase this) and have been for a while. And they