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.
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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid