In the wake of the controversy ignited by the YouTube video about the movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’, Iran had decided to apply a blanket ban on access to Google services, including YouTube & Gmail. While it was speculated that this ban may be rather long-term, Iranian authorities have restored Gmail access.
According to the statements released by Iranian officials, it seems that Gmail was blocked simply because the regime didn’t know of a way to individually block Google services. So when it couldn’t isolate YouTube for a ban, it applied a comprehensive ban on Google services.
A member of the Iranian internet watchdog committee said “We absolutely do not want YouTube to be accessible. That is why the telecommunications ministry is seeking a solution to fix the problem to block YouTube under the HTTPS protocol while leaving Gmail accessible.”
However, now, it is being reported that the committee has finally been able to devise a way to block YouTube while allowing access to Gmail. In the wake of the Gmail ban, there was a lot of pressure on the government both from common users as well as the government officials themselves, many of who rely on Gmail for their email communications. YouTube continues to be inaccessible by Iranian users.
Iran is also on its way to launch its own internet system which will be closely monitored and controlled by the Iranian government. While the apparent pretext for such a system is security from cyber attacks, the actual aim, many say, is to curb freedom of expression online. This has also been manifest in the high-handedness of the Iranian regime towards a number of dissident bloggers.
Courtesy: TG Daily