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Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in Freedom of expression, Internet |

Iran blocks access to Google as it prepares to launch its own network

Iran blocks access to Google as it prepares to launch its own network

and will filter throughout the country until further notice

These were the words of Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, Iranian official in charge of online and cyber crime. The government is blocking access to Google and Gmail in reaction to the controversial film that rails against Muhammad and that has sparked protests worldwide.

A note in which the government has not given any indications on whether the filter would be temporary or permanent. Khoramabadi said the decision was taken after the Iranian authorities pressured to filter sites because of the links that existed on the film.

From The Young Journalists Club, a news agency affiliated to the government, says the move is a response to the refusal of Google and YouTube to remove Innocence of Muslims of their services.

Following the announcement earlier today, the Guardian is in contact with people who claimed they could still access Google. Others, however, confirmed that they could not access their Gmail accounts as some vendors seemed to have blocked the service. A citizen who requested anonymity told the media that:

Just three hours ago was still able to access my Gmail account, but now I can not open it.

A story that coincides with the government’s plans to launch the final phase of its own national Internet network, a proposal to replace the current World Wide Web by itself according to the guidelines of the authorities. Without going any further, Ali Hakim-Javadi, technology minister, said this weekend:

In recent days all government agency and its offices have been connected to the national grid.

A project that is feared to act as a filter and censor anything that the government not sharing. From Tehran however says that this network is designed to ensure the military information, banking and any sensitive data to the outside world.

According to the newspaper account, an IT expert close to the project said the idea came to fear a cyber attack like the Stuxnet worm. One way to protect sensitive data from the WWW.

Anyway, the recent filter Google and its services has already had a quick response from citizens through social networks. Both Twitter and Facebook have served in the past few hours as a platform to protest against the move.

And is that the country is currently one of the most censored countries in the world online. currently ranks fourth in the list of countries that filter behind Eritrea, North Korea and Syria. About 5 million websites where access from the country is impossible.

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