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Iran Lifts Block On Gmail 46

Posted by timothy
from the consider-this-a-warning dept.
redletterdave writes "After blocking Google's Gmail service for a little more than a week, the Iranian government has decided to remove the digital barrier after a barrage of complaints, some of which came from Iran's own parliament. While the Iranian government has released no official statement as to why Google's Gmail service was blocked in the first place, several Iranian news agencies reported the ban was connected to the inflammatory anti-Islam film 'The Innocence of Muslims,' which had been uploaded to YouTube, one of Google Inc.'s many subsidiaries."
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Iran Lifts Block On Gmail

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  • Guiness logic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:08AM (#41526029)
    Hmmm... Common carrier sub-business site that doesn't pre-filter uploads receives something legal in that host's country that is found objectionable in your country.

    Block another sub-business site from that same conglomerate business...

    BRILLIANT!


    Are they sure that alcohol is banned in Iran? It seems like a lot of the stuff must be consumed, given the nature of some of the plans...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They probably just now realized they don't want people getting 'drunk' on US web services like Gmail that are likely significant resources for the US intelligence community, but I guess it's a little too late if your own parliament has many loyal Gmail fans.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Lesson learned: if your product becomes sufficiently popular with sufficiently important people, it will become politically impossible to forcibly suppress it. Factor this into your business plan.

    • by EnsilZah (575600)

      Iranian Censorship BETA.

    • Are they sure that alcohol is banned in Iran? It seems like a lot of the stuff must be consumed, given the nature of some of the plans...

      Afghan/Pakistani opium [washingtonpost.com].. Courtesy NATO

    • by heypete (60671)

      I don't think they intended to block Gmail, but since both Gmail and YouTube are accessible over HTTPS (which I presume the Iranian government cannot sniff without setting off the MITM alarms in browsers) and both sites share the same certificate, they probably just blocked all connections based on the SSL cert being used and didn't notice that they also blocked Gmail.

      If so, it clearly didn't work as planned.

    • Are they sure that alcohol is banned in Iran? It seems like a lot of the stuff must be consumed, given the nature of some of the plans...

      No, religion by itself is sufficient for crazy plans.

  • by Bigby (659157) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:17AM (#41526147)

    One of the many things that are worse than censorship is censorship subject to special interests.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exacly when and how do you think any kind of censorship is not subject to special inetrests?

      • by Bigby (659157)

        If you tape everyone's mouth closed, it is bad. But it is much worse to tape closed 99% of the mouths.

    • All censorship is subject to special interests. By its very nature there are always at least two interested parties: those in the party who want to prevent a message from being communicated, and those in the party who are prevented from hearing the message. I suppose it's technically possible for those two parties to be identical, but that's usually called "willful ignorance" rather than "censorship."

      • All censorship is subject to special interests. By its very nature there are always at least two interested parties: those in the party who want to prevent a message from being communicated, and those in the party who are prevented from hearing the message. I suppose it's technically possible for those two parties to be identical, but that's usually called "willful ignorance" rather than "censorship."

        Please define "special."

      • by Bigby (659157)

        You are looking at censorship in a different light. My point is that it is better to censor everyone than just most people. You are looking at it from a message standpoint. Of course censoring a message is already a special interest.

    • How can you say:
      you know what's worse than A? Ab!
      When Ab is merely a specific part of A?

      It's like saying: You know what's worse than murder? When corporations murder.
  • by aicrules (819392) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:18AM (#41526161)
    The video did not cause gmail to be blocked any more than the video caused terrorist attacks against US embassies. This is getting ridiculous. I mean, yes we joke that Iranian government is terribly inept, but would they really be so thick as to think blocking gmail had any meaningful impact on those who created/supported the video? The video is just serving as a gigantic red herring. More likely Iran had a real purpose behind the brief blockade, and throwing "The Video" out there as a reason is an attempt to distract from that reason.
    • by Quakeulf (2650167)
      Judging from the amount of views on Youtube it has received and the amount of reactions I dare say most people don't even know what it is but are just looking for an excuse to smash stuff and create misery in the name of religion/cult.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "we joke that Iranian government is terribly inept, but would they really be so thick as to think blocking gmail had any meaningful impact on those who created/supported the video?"

      The answer to your supposedly rhetorical question is a resounding "YES". You have incredibly naive and amazing faith in politicians and bureaucrats.

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        "we joke that Iranian government is terribly inept, but would they really be so thick as to think blocking gmail had any meaningful impact on those who created/supported the video?"

        The answer to your supposedly rhetorical question is a resounding "YES". You have incredibly naive and amazing faith in politicians and bureaucrats.

        The three morons who created the video originally titled it "Innocence of Bn Laden", it was a half-witted attempt to smoke out would-be terrorists in a Los Angeles theatre they had rented for 1 showing which nobody attended.

    • by Elbereth (58257)

      People like to speculate, and, in the absence of any facts, they'll speculate wildly.

      I agree with you, though. Most politicians are opportunists, and they'll never let a good tragedy or outrage go to waste.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:49AM (#41526605) Journal

      The video did not cause gmail to be blocked any more than the video caused terrorist attacks against US embassies.

      The video did not cause a terrorist attack on the US embassies but you would have to agree it gave the people planning the attacks some really good cover from citizens that might have been unwilling under normal circumstances to storm United States embassies, right? The video was used in the attacks as a device. Likewise, you could call the video "the straw that broke the camel's back" or a bigger piece of the picture for Iran's blockage of Gmail but to say it played no role is purely speculation. Do you have an alternative theory or is it simply just a hunch? Do you speak Farsi? Are you situated in Tehran, roaming about and getting a feeling for the climate of the people? No? You're just sitting comfortably at your desk halfway across the world? So how do you know the video caused no unrest?

      I mean, yes we joke that Iranian government is terribly inept, but would they really be so thick as to think blocking gmail had any meaningful impact on those who created/supported the video?

      I thought the purpose was to punish Google for allowing the video to be uploaded at all (and it still remains in lengthy trailer format for most of the world's population to view). The government picked a length of time that they felt would cause an exodus of users from Gmail to another provider -- hopefully a local one that dishes up information without resistance to the Iranian government. More importantly, one that is not associated as the web host of "Innocence of Muslims" trailers.

      The video is just serving as a gigantic red herring. More likely Iran had a real purpose behind the brief blockade, and throwing "The Video" out there as a reason is an attempt to distract from that reason.

      Then what was it? Sure, relations with the US are strained. Sure, their currency just hit an all-time low against the dollar [bbc.co.uk]. But calling this a "red herring" requires you to tell us what the real purpose was. Otherwise there's a pretty simple cause and effect in my mind: Google still lets Americans watch movie trailer so therefore Iran government gives its citizens a reason not to use Google services. What is so abnormal about that logic? It makes about as much sense as US does not like Iranian Government so US places trade embargoes on all of Iranian goods, companies and services.

      • by aicrules (819392)
        There is a larger picture, but it doesn't include THE VIDEO as any substantial portion. As the article states, Youtube was blocked long before that video was release. The Iranian government hasn't actually stated why the block of gmail was put in place. Just some news agency speculation. Later they mention how Iranian government is well known for having blocked any sites that express anti-government sentiments.

        Now while the article says there has been no official reason given for the gmail block, lat
    • The video did not cause gmail to be blocked any more than the video caused terrorist attacks against US embassies. This is getting ridiculous. I mean, yes we joke that Iranian government is terribly inept, but would they really be so thick as to think blocking gmail had any meaningful impact on those who created/supported the video? The video is just serving as a gigantic red herring. More likely Iran had a real purpose behind the brief blockade, and throwing "The Video" out there as a reason is an attempt to distract from that reason.

      I don't know about you, but if someone has severe reactions toward something I put out and can't even remain calm enough to argue, I would feel my extreme [video / print / speech / text] got it's message across. Also, when it gets such a pissed response that people spread the information more quickly and thoroughly and even the spreading methods get blocked, I would have a self-importance glazing moment.

      I learned when I was a kid how to prevent amplified reactions, and that's to not react. But what's logi

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:29AM (#41526321) Homepage Journal

    It's run by the Republican Guard. They let the mullahs and ayatollah go on thinking they run things, also leave civilian stuff to them, too, but the hard decisions on nuclear research, cracking skulls, rigging elections, that's done by the Republican Guard. If the religious establishment think they really run things, try reigning in the Republican Guard and see what happens.

    • by NSash (711724)

      It's run by the Republican Guard. They let the mullahs and ayatollah go on thinking they run things, also leave civilian stuff to them, too, but the hard decisions on nuclear research, cracking skulls, rigging elections, that's done by the Republican Guard. If the religious establishment think they really run things, try reigning in the Republican Guard and see what happens.

      (Quibbling) You're thinking of the Revolutionary Guard. The Republic Guard is from the other Ira[nq].

      I'm not sure you're correct, though. Iran has a conventional army several times larger than the Revolutionary Guard with a separate command structure. There are also the Basij militias that -- although nominally part of the Revolutionary Guard -- take their orders directly from the local clerics.

      • by swb (14022)

        But is the conventional army in Iran anything special?

        I seem to remember reading around the time of the riots that occurred after the last election that the military followed the typical model in dictatorships. While the army is large and has its own command structure, it's relatively low tech compared to the Revolutionary Guard which has a disproportionate amount of the good equipment.

        The conventional army is the kind of bulk, low-tech force designed to discourage enemies from conventional attack -- lots

  • by mseeger (40923) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:46AM (#41526555)

    No one knows what the regime will do next, not us and neither the people they supposedly govern. Structured like they are, such governments become a cesspit of intrigue and internal struggles. This event has the certain smell of infighting. Just look up the sorry excuse of a statement about the "involuntary" block. ï

  • the article is wrong (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    old news BS:

    "While the Iranian government has released no official statement as to why Google's Gmail service was blocked in the first place"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-lifts-block-on-gmail-a-week-after-barring-access-to-googles-popular-email-service/2012/10/01/02903854-0ba6-11e2-97a7-45c05ef136b2_story.html
    "On Monday, Mohammad Reza Aghamiri, a member of governmental Internet watchdog committee, told the semiofficial Mehr news agency that authorities have lifted the Gmail ban after

  • The summary says Iran has a parliament, but that doesn't make any sense! Here in the good ol' US of A we're told that Iran is an evil fundamentalist religious dictatorship! If they have a parliament, that means....Oh my god...they are more like us! Next thing you know they'll be telling us that women are allowed to vote and aren't actually stoned if they don't wear a burka! Wait, what? Women is Iran can vote? They don't have to wear a burka? There's Jews and Christians in Iran that are treated equall

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