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Iran Suspends Google's Email Service 436

Posted by timothy
from the single-payer-system dept.
appl_iran writes "Iran's telecommunications agency announced that it would be suspending Google's email services permanently, saying it would roll out its own national email service." From the short WSJ article that is kernel of this Reuters story: "An Iranian official said the measure was meant to boost local development of Internet technology and to build trust between people and the government." Funny way to go about that. Updated 20100211 9:54GMT by timothy: Original link swapped for a more appropriate, updated one.
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Iran Suspends Google's Email Service

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  • In other news... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:41PM (#31091204)
    A Nazi official said that the new "Final Solution" plan is meant to boost the railroad industry and help build positive relations between Jews and the Gestapo.
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:41PM (#31091228) Homepage Journal
    is Buzz. Else they should be blocking every other web mail provider (hotmail, yahoo, etc)
  • by phoenix321 (734987) * on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:46PM (#31091314)

    "The Iranian nation, with its unity and God's grace, will punch the arrogance (of Western powers) on the 22nd of Bahman (Feb 11) in a way that will leave them stunned," Khamenei declared Monday.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8508813.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=124681 [wnd.com]

    Empty threat or glass parking lot in Tel Aviv? What are they up to?

  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:49PM (#31091358) Homepage Journal

    Once the government is managing all your communications, they'll finally be able to trust you.

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:49PM (#31091364)

    Offhand, I don't know what sort of "deals" the other providers have made with Iran... e.g., maybe Yahoo already allows Iran's government access to e-mail or something like that? Perhaps Google didn't?

    Or perhaps gmail is the only significant webmail provider over there and the others have

  • Re:Build trust? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SimonInOz (579741) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:11PM (#31091674)

    >> Forcing users to use a government monitored service doesn't sound like something that would build trust. It sounds like a move to crush dissent.

    Hmm - you do know why the Royal Mail was introduced, don't you? (The Royal Mail traces its history back to 1516, when Henry VIII established a "Master of the Posts", a post which eventually evolved into the office of the Postmaster General. The Royal Mail service was first made available to the public by Charles I on 31 July, 1635, with postage being paid by the recipient, and the General Post Office (GPO) was officially established by Charles II in 1660. [Thank you Wikipedia])
    Yup - but why? Well, the Royal Mail was granted a monopoly on mail delivery (which it held until 2006 - 350 years, not bad) ... and so the King could open everybody's mail with impunity.

    Iran's approach sounds pretty much the same to me. Same methodology, same reasons.

    Ah, ain't history wonderful?

  • Re:Well of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:18PM (#31091808)

    No, because the UN is run by countries like Iran, Sudan, Libya, etc., who even hold high positions in their "council on human rights". It's like the fox guarding the henhouse.

    How can you have an organization pushing for human rights and freedoms when many of its members completely oppose such things?

  • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity@yahoo . c om> on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:22PM (#31091868) Homepage

    Iran has already shown many times before that they have centralized control over all inbound/outbound peering. Every time they block facebook or some other website they demonstrate that.

    As others have noted, gmail now uses HTTPS by default. With Iran's centralized peering, they also likely had deep packet inspection to log all webmail emails going into and out of the country. If gmail is using HTTPS, a MITM attack like that doesn't work nearly so easily.

    This is just a way for Iran to regain their previous spying abilities.

  • Re:Build trust? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sploithunter (1399781) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @07:07PM (#31092400)

    For everyone citing the Patriot Act as being the ultimate evil, they forget both parties voted for it repeatedly, and few seem to know anything about it to back up their fears that it is truly evil legislation.

    So let me ask you, what is your specific beef with it?

    Section 505 of the US PATRIOT Act expands the use of National Security Letters to US persons not accused of committing a crime, nor requiring probable cause that a crime has or will be committed, to obtain business records, connection logs, contacts, etc in any form (electronic or paper) WITHOUT the review of a Judge or any member of the judicial system. Furthermore, NSL's contain a gag order making it a felony to speak to anyone about the order. That includes your lawyer, your spouse, and interestingly, a Judge (the agent of the government who is supposed to sanity check these things). A DOJ IG audit conducted in 2007 found that the FBI (just the FBI, not the many other agencies that can issue NSLs) issued approximately 200,000 NSLs in that year. Of those ~60% violate internal FBI rules and ~22% where out and out unlawful (the FBI violated what could be accessed by NSLs, eg they got your email or other content not authorized by NSLs). So 40K or so unlawful searches where conducted by the FBI alone due to the Patriot Act, but only a handful where ever challenged in court because of the gag order. If you are on the receiving end of a NSL letter, you have in fact lost the right to bash your government about it (unless some years in prison is what you are looking for), or in the constitutional language your right of "redress of grievances" has been lost. It is in no way Iran, but it certainly is a step in the wrong direction.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @07:15PM (#31092474) Homepage Journal
    A large part of it probably has to do with the upcoming UN hearings on sanctions on Iran. Iran does realize that Google and China, a permanent member of the UN security counsel, have had a pretty public spat recently. But singling out gmail they are hoping that they will curry favor with the Chinese, and further persuade them not to vote for sanctions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @07:16PM (#31092486)

    Who is going to come to trust whom? Anti-government dissidents aren't going to start trusting their government over this, and the government isn't going to start trusting its dissidents. So the only actors we're left with here are the government and your everyday citizen. So why the need all of the sudden to build trust? Is Iran admitting its general population doesn't trust the government? Is it admitting it doesn't trust its general population?

    Classic doublethink. You're expected to simultaneously believe a) this trust issue needs some serious fixing and b) there are no trust issues between the people and government.

  • by jayveekay (735967) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @07:43PM (#31092706)

    Anyone remember the US government initiative in the 90's to be able to snoop on its citizens phone calls?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip [wikipedia.org]

    Governments generally don't seem to like it when their citizens can hide stuff from them.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @10:26PM (#31094674)
    ...to get perspective on the issue...

    Well, another perspective is that the notion of "building trust between people and the government" is entirely accurate if what they really mean is that the government wants to be able to "trust" (i.e. monitor and control) the people. No-one said it had to work reciprocally. :-(
  • by jbarham (225640) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @12:33AM (#31095712)

    I just thought that people need to know that the story linked to redirects to a very nasty page that hijacked my browser (Chrome on Windows 7).

  • trojan (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 11, 2010 @01:44AM (#31096198)

    A trojan was detected by Nod32 on the hyperlink: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20100210/iran-suspends-googles-email-service.htm

  • by CecilPL (1258010) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @02:14AM (#31096372)

    I just clicked on the one link in the article, got redirected to a GNAA shock site and AVG just detected a virus install attempt.

    Not great publicity, slashdot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 11, 2010 @02:45AM (#31096530)
    All the more interesting was how the attacker managed to fail twice before success. wget it and you'll see.

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