Monday, 24 September 2012

Iran Bans Gmail amid Google Denial to Block Anti-Islam Film

Local Editor
Google page in PersianIran blocked access to Google's Gmail service Monday in reaction to the anti-Islam film that has triggered protests across the Muslim world.

The move is among first steps by the Islamic republic to establish a walled-off national intranet separate from the worldwide Internet.

Internet websites circulated the news Monday, saying that curbs were announced in a mobile phone text message quoting Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, an adviser to Iran's public prosecutor's office and the secretary of an official group tasked with detecting Internet content deemed illegal.

"Due to the repeated demands of the people, Google and Gmail will be filtered nationwide. They will remain filtered until further notice," news websites claimed the message has read.

Iran bans GmailAccording to the website, Khoramabadi claimed the decision was taken after Iranians pressed the authorities to filter the sites because of links to the film.

The Young Journalists Club, an Iranian semi-official news agency that broke the news, said the move was in reaction to YouTube's refusal to take down the offensive film against Islam, Innocence of Muslims.
Iran is working on rolling out its national intranet that it says will be clean of un-Islamic content. Officials say it will be faster and more secure.

Despite fears by Iranians that the new intranet would supplant the Internet, Mohammad Soleimani, a lawmaker heading a parliamentary communication committee, was quoted last week by the ISNA news agency as saying that "the establishment of the 'National Internet' will not cut access to the Internet."

"Cutting access to the Internet is not possible at all, because it would amount to imposing sanctions on ourselves, which would not be logical. However, the filtering will remain in place," he added.

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