While Web traffic coming in and going out of Iran fell dramatically in the days after the contested Iranian election—with email, video and secure shell protocol traffic plummeting 50 to 80 percent from pre-election levels—the latest numbers suggest that the flow of information has been beginning to slouch back to normal.
Arbor Networks’ Craig Labovitz tells Ares that after rerunning the data Monday night, he found that “broadly, the traffic is still diminished, but it has gone up over the past few days.”
While he hasn’t conducted a full analysis, Labovitz estimates that traffic across the spectrum of video, email and other Web applications has rebounded about 30 to 40 percent over the past several days, as more Iranians are finding ways around the filters. While still diminished, “there’s still gigabits of traffic entering and leaving the country,” he says, adding that while the volume would be considered light for a Western country, for Iran, it’s a significant amount.
“The way to view this is that Iran has the capability to block all communication if possible … what they have done is made it terribly inconvenient for the average citizen to communicate,” while leaving the door open for those with some pretty basic skills to continue to send and receive information.