• 23 April 2024

On June 28, 2022, the Reporters Without Borders organization, in a report on the internet restrictions in Iran, requested ArvanCloud to end cooperation with the Iranian government regarding internet restrictions. Meanwhile, ArvanCloud offers an integrated cloud infrastructure and cloud providers are unable to play a role in the structure or constraint of the Internet. ArvanCloud’s response to Reporters Without Borders is as follows:

Published on 7 October 2022

Thank you for including ArvanCloud’s response in the English and French versions of that organization’s report on 28.6.2021, entitled “Iran Censor Protest Coverage by Shutting Down Internet.” However, these changes have not been included in the Persian version entitled “جمهوری اسلامی ایران اعتراض‌ها را با کمک شرکتی که در اروپا نمایندگی دارد سرکوب می‌کند”. There also remains false statements in both the English and French versions of this report, which we will explain further.

The English and French reports still need to be modified based on the response given on October 16, 2022, as they still consider ArvanCloud to be involved in the National Internet Project and ask ArvanCloud not to participate in this project. Keeping in mind that ArvanCloud has never played any part in the sinister phenomenon known as the “National Internet”. Technically speaking, given the way Internet is set up in Iran, no cloud service provider can play a role in restricting, limiting, or censoring the Internet. An issue that was clearly addressed in our previous response.

We believe that Iranian citizens, like everyone else across the world, must have the rights to access unrestricted, uncensored, and high-quality Internet. With that being said, we have been continuously publishing transparency and periodical reports on Iran’s internet infrastructure besides ArvanCloud Radar, which shines a light on the internet status and disruptions in Iran. These reports were the sources for several news outlets including BBC, Shargh, IRNA, Digitao, Peivast, Zoomit, and several other publications.

The Telecommunication Infrastructure Company is the sole provider of Internet access in Iran, and it distributes the Internet to FCP operators (Asiatech, Shuttle, Respina, Hiweb, Afrant, etc.) and Cellular operators (Hamrah-e-Aval [MCI], Irancell [MTN], and Rightel). In the next layer, the Internet reaches people and data centers from these companies. ArvanCloud and other cloud service providers operate in a layer that makes them internet consumers, i.e. cloud service provider services are reliant on reliable internet connectivity. Therefore, any cloud provider, not just in Iran, cannot have an effect neither on the service nor the disruptions nor any restrictions on the Internet.

In the following picture, Iran’s Internet structure is clearly shown.

ArvanCloud as an international cloud service provider, with over 100,000 customers across 38 different countries, operates just like other cloud service providers such as Hetzner, Strato, IONOS, Cloudflare, Amazon AWS, and DigitalOcean; such providers operate in a layer that makes them internet consumers, i.e. they and their services are reliant on reliable internet connectivity. Therefore, any cloud provider, not just in Iran, cannot have an effect neither on the service nor the disruptions nor any restrictions on the Internet. Indeed, cloud services are one of the components of the digital world and any internet disruption harms the services of cloud providers such as ArvanCloud.

The total capacity of ArvanCloud is fraction of the entire Iranian data center capacity (around 3%). In spite of this, in your report there is a clause stating National Internet has progressed vastly after establishment of ArvanCloud.

It’s been claimed in your report that, in general, any kind of hosting services inside Iran helps and facilitates the isolation of the Internet in Iran.

This statement is absolutely false. It is necessary to point out the two following facts:

  1. Unfortunately, the Iranian government has restricted internet access at different times (including the recent protests) easily through whitelisting mechanisms, DNS Poisoning, and BGP manipulations and has selectively allowed or blocked IP addresses or domain names to be accessed by Iranian users. With such centralized mechanisms, which have almost no costs for them as they control the gateways of Iran’s internet, it doesn’t matter whether the IP/domain is hosted inside or outside of Iran. Basically, the Iranian government can specify exactly what to be available and what to be blocked because the internet access is centralized and they control the gateways. These mechanisms have been there for many years and it can be clearly concluded that the development of data centers and cloud computing services play no part in such actions. Pouya Pirhoseinloo, the co-founder and CEO of Abr Arvan, explained this topic in detail at the beginning of the RTC2022 event. 
  2. Assuming that the Iranian government decides to isolate Iranian users and block their internet access, but still let data centers have internet access, cloud services will not have any effect on reducing the social costs of such actions. Cloud services providers are not data center providers but they are just actually clients of data centers. Their presence or absence will not make a difference in this decision. Traditional hosting providers have the largest market share of hosting Iranian services. Abr Arvan covers less than 3% of all of Iran’s hosting capacity.

In the end, we once again emphasize the right of the Iranian people to access unrestricted, high-speed, and stable internet. We expect the media and independent researchers to stand up against lies and slander and defend this basic right for small businesses and the people of Iran.

Published on 5 July 2022

On June 22, 2022, a report was published through the Reporters Without Borders website and social media that, unfortunately, is invalid and untrue.

In this article, ArvanCloud has been demanded to immediately cease its collaboration with the Iranian government, to which it provides the tools to impose its censorship.

ArvanCloud is an international technology company active in the cloud service sector with customers from 38 countries all around the world. A cloud service provider is not able to perform a role neither in the structure nor in the censorship of the internet, not only in Iran but also in any other country on earth. This is because the cloud services are being provided in a layer that makes cloud service providers a consumer and not a provider of the internet. Consequently, these companies cannot impact the internet’s quality, disruption, or outage.

ArvanCloud’s PoPs are located in 40 different locations worldwide and, similar to other global cloud service providers, receive internet services from Internet Service Providers and internet operators. Logically, it has no role to perform in the internet structure in any of these countries.

Similarly, ArvanCloud does not have any role in quality or access to the internet in Iran, neither in technical nor in distribution and governance aspects.

The following articles have elaborated more about the structure of the Internet in Iran:

Moreover, as a business which is an internet user, any restriction or disruption on the Internet will impact ArvanCloud negatively. This company has always stood beside other Iranian businesses against these approaches and projects.

Based on what was mentioned earlier and regarding ArvanCloud and other cloud service providers’ roles in the structure of the Internet, access to it, and its censorship, we explicitly inform you that ArvanCloud does not play any role mentioned in your report.

Looking forward to a day in which there is no need for a statement or report for accessing fundamental rights like free access to the Internet.


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