Iran permanently suspends Gmail service

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, as part of an attempt to thwart residents from trying to join antigovernment protests, Iran's telecommunication agency has decided to permanently suspend Gmail service throughout the country. In its place, Iran will push a national email service for Iranian citizens.

Based on the quote below, it's still unclear as to whether Gmail has already been shut off in Iran, or if this is just something that will happen in the near future. Either way, it looks like residents' freedom to choose an email provider is heading out the window. As of this report, Google has yet to make a comment.

"Iranians have reported widespread service disruptions to Internet and text messaging services, though mobile phones appeared to be operating normally Wednesday.

Iran's telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.'s email services, saying instead that a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out. It wasn't clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Google's email services in Iran."

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