News / Middle East

Iran Blocks Popular Google Products

Iranian women use computers at an Internet cafe in central Tehran. Many Iranian users are reporting Gmail and other Google products have been blocked.
Iranian women use computers at an Internet cafe in central Tehran. Many Iranian users are reporting Gmail and other Google products have been blocked.
TEXT SIZE - +
Iranian Internet users are reporting many popular Google products, including its email service Gmail, have been blocked.

Users in Iran reported Monday that Google Search was still available, but any product that required signing into an account was blocked. This included Gmail, Google Drive, Google Talk and others.

“Google is not accessible on https, but it's open on http,” a Tehran-based computer science graduate told VOA in a Facebook interview.

Websites using https are considered secure, while http sites are susceptible to monitoring by virtually anyone, including governments.

“You can search, but any service that requires login, is closed,” the computer science graduate said. “Some people have saved their passwords on their Google accounts, so it redirects them on the https port, and for those people, Google doesn't work.”

Another engineering graduate confirmed this, telling VOA on Facebook that with only http access, “anywhere you go, anything you search, can be controlled.”

The curbs on the Google products 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," the message read.

An Iranian group called Islamic Republic Virtual Activists issued a statement Sunday urging Internet users not to use Google services on Monday and Tuesday, following the appearance of the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" and a French magazine’s publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed, according to the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency.

The statement accused authorities in the United States and other Western countries of blocking Islamic sites on their Internet services and providing cover for Google, Facebook and other social networks supervised by what it called “the Zionists.”

Technology experts are questioning Iran’s official explanation of the blockages. They say the outage may coincide with Iran’s development of its own national intranet, which Tehran says will be free of un-Islamic content and will be easier to monitor.

One technology expert in Tehran, who asked to remain anonymous, told VOA the anti-Islam video is “just an excuse.”

The video “is on YouTube, and YouTube had already been blocked for a long time. I think this decision was made a long time ago and they just needed an excuse to implement it,” the source said.

Criticism of the decision has not been not limited to Web users. The Iranian website Baztab, which has close ties to conservatives yet is critical of the government, published a report titled “Ignorant Friends in Line with Iran’s Sanctioning Enemies: Gmail is Filtered, Will Google Be as Well?”

The filter has not stopped all Internet users from accessing the blocked sites. Some Iranians are using virtual private networks (VPNs), which are commonly used to access  Facebook, Twitter and other sites that have been blocked.

Iranian authorities temporarily cut access to Google and Gmail in February, ahead of March parliamentary elections. Iran also has censored YouTube, which is owned by Google, since mid-2009, when activists posted videos to the site purported to show  violent government crackdowns on Iranians protesting the presidential election results.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: john from: german
September 25, 2012 9:35 PM
Islam world, you really need to open and become democratic. Just because a video, you become violent and slaughter, now you rob people's right to enjoy the internet.


by: Iranian
September 25, 2012 5:24 PM
Middle class educated Iranians, the most educated in the Middle East, are being tortured by the stupid theocratic government of Iran


by: Shafky from: Peshawar, Pakistan
September 25, 2012 8:08 AM
In Pakistan we also have the same problem. But we still have access to Gmail. The Google Drive is not accessable, as I saved a lot of my Secrete Passwords there, and I dont know if Android users can access. And also I can't access directly to Google Adsense, and for that 1st I search "Adsense" in Google, and then click on Adsense Home to log in there. It's a headache for serious Googlers. Thanks VOA for info.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid