What’s the Latest Development?
Iran is consistently one of the most censored countries in the world, but a recent move by the Iranian government is trying to block one the largest, most used sites on the internet: Google. “’Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice,’ said Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, an Iranian official with the state-run body in charge of online censorship and computer crimes.” Though no time period for the filtering was given, the stated reason for the move was due to “YouTube's refusal to take down the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims.”
What’s the Big Idea?
There are currently over 5 million sites filtered out from Iranian internet, including sites like Facebook and Twitter. But just because the websites are blocked, doesn’t mean that Iranians aren’t accessing them. “Many Iranians access blocked addresses with help from proxy servers or virtual private network (VPN) services and as many as 17 million Iranians have Facebook accounts, although the site remains blocked in Iran.” So while the government aims to block Google from the country, it looks as though they only make it more difficult to access its subsidiaries such as Gmail and Youtube.
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