Minister: Iran court bans Google, Gmail
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 26 /Trend, D.Khatinoglu/
Iran's Minister of Information and Communications Technology said a judicial court has ordered that Gmail be blocked because the email service has violated the country's laws.
However the government isn't blocking internet users' access to Google, Reza Taghipour told Mehr news agency.
Iranians have had limited or no access to the Google search engine and Gmail since Sunday.
On Sunday morning, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported that Gmail and Google would be blocked by the Taskforce on Illegal Content.
'Not deleting an anti-Islamic video from YouTube, owned by the Google Company', was the reason cited in the ISNA news report, although YouTube has been blocked by the Iranian government for several years.
The sites will be unblocked whenever the court changes its decision, said Mr. Taghipour. The communications minister referred reporters to the judiciary when asked which court has issued the order to block Gmail.
Reuters reported on Sunday that as they filtered Google, Iranian officials announced the Islamic Republic has plans to direct internet users toward the country's own internet to defend itself against cyber threats, a sign that blocking Google was one step in Iran's mandatory replacement with Iran's national internet.
Many Iranians believe that sites like YouTube and Facebook have been filtered because they use them to post anti-government sentiments since Iran's last presidential election.
Internet users in Iran have used tools like virtual private networks (VPN) to access filtered websites, but the planned national internet will isolate them from the World Wide Web more than ever before.