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Monday, September 24, 2012

Iran shutting off Google and Gmail

Posted by David Bernstein

Apparently not everyone can enjoy the freedom of the internet when it comes to searching for news and other types of information. Most of us can look up whatever we want without having to worry about it being blocked or censored by big brother aka the government. Or at least we think that’s the way it is.

If you live in Iran then you are already being censored and filtered and there isn’t much you can do about it unless you are tech savvy and know the few ways to get around it. Now the Iranian government wants to block Google and Gmail most likely because they are upset about them allowing the mocking of Muhammad in a YouTube video among other videos they deem inappropriate.

Iran is pushing towards a "national Internet" which is meant to keep them separate from the rest of the world when it comes to what can and can’t be found online. Another reason for it may be to help them track dissent and take care of it when they find it. The official Islamic Republic News Agency stated earlier this year that "The Internet must not be given the authority to challenge national and ethical principles". Reporters Without Borders found that the Google blockage was effective in some parts of Iran while not in others. An interesting twist on the story is that Gmail is used by all local state run news agencies and Iranian universities so it will be interesting to see how this change affects the way they operate.

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