Google (News - Alert) Search and Gmail access in Iran has been spotty. Iranian authorities are reportedly limiting access to Google Search and Gmail in the country. This action is in retaliation to the links to the anti-Islam film which has been creating controversies worldwide.
It has been reported that an Iranian censorship official told the country's Ilna news agency that Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice.
Image via Shutterstock
The controversial film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was uploaded on You Tube in July, 2012. Soon there were demonstrations across the Middle East and the events took a turn for the worst on Sept. 11, when U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an attack in Libya. Some reports stated that the attack was related to the movie, but some do believe that the attacks were pre-planned and pre-meditated and had the backing of terror outfits.
Google monitors access to all its services around the world with the help of several tools including Google Transparency Reports. Google is still studying the data and believes that the data after Sept. 19 is still being finalized and it will be interpreted ‘with caution’.
Iranian authorities had taken ealier harsh stands to censor the Web, and Google had also been a target in May 2012. Iran was mainly offended by the fact that Google had removed the name of Persian Gulf from Google Maps. It had then threatened to sue the search giant for the removal and wanted the name restored.
There was also an order from Iran’s Telecommunications Minister in May which dictated that all Iranian banks, telephone companies and insurance firms were prohibited from using foreign e-mail services. The dictate was clearly against the global services such as Gmail, Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Hotmail or Yahoo Mail.
That order from the Iranian authorities came several months after the authorities had already blocked access to several encrypted and secure websites that had important services like online banking and other sites which used HTTPS protocol. Some websites had long been blocked by the authorities but tech –savvy citizens used other portals and proxy servers to get around and access the banned sites and content.
The confusions are growing and the standoffs continue. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard blocked the Iranian Gamers in late August from playing ‘World of Warcraft’ in order to comply with the US imposed economic sanctions on Iran and the gamers have not received any refunds till date.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman