Iranians Protest Leads To The Return Of Gmail
from the but-still-no-youtube dept
As the fervor over the hateful Innocence Of Muslims movie is beginning to die down, you may have heard that in response to that film the Iranian government blocked access to Gmail. There has been much postulation over why Gmail suddenly became a target, including what seems to be a ridiculous claim from the Iranian Telecommunications Ministry that they were simply trying to put a heavy block on YouTube (it’s been blocked since long before this movie showed up). But, as most of us probably expected, Gmail is back on.
Regardless of whether or not the block on Gmail was intentional, the obstruction to one of the world’s most popular email services resulted in many complaints from Iran officials. Legislator Hossein Garousi reportedly threatened to summon Iran’s telecommunications minister Reza Taqipour for parliamentary questioning if the service was not unblocked.
Iran continues to block any site or network that expresses “anti-government views,” including sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which helped rally citizens and circularize the massive protests following the questionable re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Now, the blocking of such sites probably doesn’t shock any of us anymore. It’s unfortunate, but they’re doing it. Hell, Iran has previously announced plans to build their very own internet. The good news is that Iranian citizens aren’t simply rolling over at their government’s heavy-handed censorship of the internet. They know how to use technology to get around the filters too.
Even though YouTube was previously blocked in Iran before the film was released and Gmail access was barred, Reuters reports on the ability of Iranian citizens to “circumvent Internet restrictions” using virtual private network (VPN) software, which makes it appear as if the computer accessing the content is located in another country.
So best of luck to you, Iranian government, because you’re going to need it if you think that suppressing thought and the freedom to access an unfettered internet is going to work out for you in the long term. At least you can rest easy knowing that your citizens can’t play online roleplaying games. We’ve got that covered from our end.