Iranian Parliament up in arms over Gmail ban

The people of Iran are making sure that their government is well aware of their disapproval of its attempts to block the Internet (or at least scour it of any free speech and western influence) but apparently blocking Gmail was just a step too far.

After just over a week of living without Gmail, even the Parliament is up in arms. The average joe might be upset that he isn’t getting his daily dose of spam, but government officials are apparently upset that they can’t do their jobs without email. And while you’d think that members of Parliament and the like might be above the law in times like this, apparently that’s not the case.

“Some problems have emerged through the blocking of Gmail,” Hussein Garrousi, a member of the Parliamentarian committee on industry, told an independent newspaper. Presumably that means people are royally pissed. But fear not – Iran has a fix (tenuously) on the way!

Ahmadinejad can haz?

Garrousi says the deal goes like this: if someone doesn’t bring back Gmail, then Parliament will summon the Ali Hakim Javadi, minister of telecommunications, for ‘questioning.’ In the meantime, Iran is toiling away at its own insular web.  They’re even making their own search engine (Iranian officials refer to Google as an ‘instrument of espionage,’ which might not be too far from the truth), Fakhr, ‘Pride,’ and email service, Fajr, or ‘Dawn.’ When asked how Fajr will rival Gmail in terms of quality, Javadi replied that “If there is Mercedes Benz on the street, that doesn't mean everyone drives a Mercedes."

Until – and probably after -  these undoubtedly clunky alternatives arrive, the people of Iran are taking matters into their own hands. Since last month, they’ve spent a whopping $4.5 million on proxy services and software to help them get around the crackdown. We’ll keep cheering those folks on from the sidelines – aren’t illicit YouTube videos sweet, guys?

Source: Business Week
Technology in Hands Image by Shutterstock

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Oracle OpenWorld: Larry Ellison Keynote (Live)

Next Story

Review: Monster Inspiration with active noise isolation

22 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The average joe might be upset that he isn't getting his daily dose of spam

What type of comment is that for a story? TONS of people use Gmail for legitimate reasons, and I know none of my accounts receive any spam in the inbox, and those that receive it in the Junk folder is very light.. unlike hotmail.

xendrome said,

What type of comment is that for a story? TONS of people use Gmail for legitimate reasons, and I know none of my accounts receive any spam in the inbox, and those that receive it in the Junk folder is very light.. unlike hotmail.


Funny, I don't receive any junk email on any of my Outlook.com accounts (the next version of Hotmail), just like I didn't receive junk mail on the Hotmail account I used before Outlook.com was unveiled

Yes you should change emails. I know that no one is perfect, but how quickly people forget, Google's street view car was hacking peoples personal WiFi and stealing data, they have also hacked the Iphone to bypass safari browser to steal users location data. and they have merged their services to make it easer to get peoples data. This is not how a big company should behave. I don't know how you don't think that's wrong?

I feel bad for the people but I really hate google, and I'm glad someone is doing something against them, they are an evil company and should not be stealing users data..
Can't the people of iran us another email system ? can't they use live.com or yahoo. for email ..
why do they have to use gmail.com ? I would never get a gmail account.

Gibbyhome said,
I feel bad for the people but I really hate google, and I'm glad someone is doing something against them, they are an evil company and should not be stealing users data..
Can't the people of iran us another email system ? can't they use live.com or yahoo. for email ..
why do they have to use gmail.com ? I would never get a gmail account.

Because other free services are completely innocent of that claim /s

Gibbyhome said,
why do they have to use gmail.com ? I would never get a gmail account.

Good for you. As my e-mails are not overly secret I can probably get by with them reading it We can all cry and scream that they shouldn't but what can we do, stop using it, then we just shoot ourselves in the foot. This is the way it is so lets get over it.

Gibbyhome said,
I feel bad for the people but I really hate google, and I'm glad someone is doing something against them, they are an evil company and should not be stealing users data..
Can't the people of iran us another email system ? can't they use live.com or yahoo. for email ..
why do they have to use gmail.com ? I would never get a gmail account.

Don't forget your tinfoil hat on your way out.

Gibbyhome said,
I feel bad for the people but I really hate google, and I'm glad someone is doing something against them, they are an evil company and should not be stealing users data..
Can't the people of iran us another email system ? can't they use live.com or yahoo. for email ..
why do they have to use gmail.com ? I would never get a gmail account.

What a very very odd man/woman you are.

SnaveZ said,
Let's be honest here, does anyone really care about Iran?

About Iran yes, about the people that control Iran - NO!
Most of the people of Iran just suffer because of the fanatic regime they have.

Dont blame the whole country for the stupidity of the regime.

V-Tech said,

About Iran yes, about the people that control Iran - NO!
Most of the people of Iran just suffer because of the fanatic regime they have.

Dont blame the whole country for the stupidity of the regime.

What's against any fanatic regime is the information, news and awareness. If all people know about what the hell is going on in any corner of the planet all fanatic regimes including mullah's regime of iran would be gone. They should just go. blocking a website in 21st century if just beyond stupid. All people should know about these fanatic regimes. Internet censorship is just wrong.

SnaveZ said,
Let's be honest here, does anyone really care about Iran?

being half Persian, and having family in Iran, my short answer would be "yes"

SnaveZ said,
Let's be honest here, does anyone really care about Iran?

Yes. I care about all people, especially those who are being oppressed by their government.

boumboqc said,

Finally!
No i don't care about what happen there and I am surprised this is not a news related to a bomb or a terrorist act.


You're surprised by that because you ridiculously stereotype an entire nation of people just because of how some people in the Middle East act.

SnaveZ said,
Let's be honest here, does anyone really care about Iran?

Congratulations, thats the most stupid comment I have seen posted on the internet in sometime. You either are not well informed or are too stupid to take in the information.

Lets see...

1. The Iran / Israel conflict. At the moment its in a mostly cold war status where Iran gives arms to Hezbollah an other groups which are used against Israel. Of course Israel is killing Iranian scientists and sponsoring different opposition groups inside Iran.

2. The Iranian nuclear program which could very soon lead to a full scale war in the middle east if not further. Unless Iran stands down, Israel, American and probably the UK will attack their installations and in return Iran will try to decimate oil industries, naval bases and Israeli cities.

3. Iran was the major sponsor of the different terror / extremist blocks in Iraq and Afghanistan. If a US / UK solider was killed by an IED then a lot of evidence that the knowhow and sometime parts came from Iran.

4. Iran is currently providing arms / support to Syria which is obviously causing problems as innocent people and children are dying.

5. The Iranian economy is getting close to collapse, which some would consider a good thing. the problem is too many middle eastern countries are all experiencing this at the same time. It is creating power vacuums, places where extremists and terrorists can freely operate. It means weapons and knowledge disappears, is stolen when governments collapse. As can be seen in Iraq, when the gov collapsed and all their weapons stockpiles disappeared, only to be used to this day to cause death and destruction. Some arms have been found smuggled into other broken countries and this spread of violence is growing.

So yeah in the grand scheme of things Iran is quite important.

SnaveZ said,
Let's be honest here, does anyone really care about Iran?

Seriously? It's not just other Iranians that are supposed to care. Generally informed human beings probably care about the situation there. Please think before you post.