Iran to block Google, Gmail

Tehran cites security concerns; citizens fear cyber isolation

Tags: Cyber crimeGoogle IncorporatedIran
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Iran to block Google, Gmail Iran has long filtered Internet content.
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 24, 2012

Iranian state television announced that the government will block access to Google Inc’s search site and email service, reports Reuters.

In a separate statement, a government official said Iranian Internet services would be switched to a domestic network for what the official claimed were security reasons.

"Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice," an official identified only as Khoramabadi, said, without giving further details.

"In recent days, all governmental agencies and offices ... have been connected to the national information network," deputy communications and technology minister Ali Hakim-Javadi was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

The second phase of the plan would be to connect ordinary Iranians to the national network, he said.

Iran has long filtered Internet content from sites such as Facebook and YouTube on the basis of alleged offensiveness or criminality, but many Iranians believe the practice is aimed at restricting resources that were used to protest the controversial re-election of President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad in 2009.

In the past Iranians have used virtual private network (VPN) software to assign IP addresses to their machines that fool domestic host servers into thinking the user is based in another country. But many faced difficulties accessing email and social networking sites in February, in the run-up to parliamentary elections.

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