Looks like Iranians aren’t going to get to try out the new Google Buzz. The telecommunications wing of the government has announced that Gmail will be blocked permanently in Iran. Google mail has been used to coordinate anti-government protests, along with Twitter and even Facebook. In exchange, the government will offer their own email system – which they promise is secure.
Google’s been getting good press recently for pushing against China’s censorship (finally), and the Iran/Google war is just another front in the worldwide information war. An Iran/Google fight has been brewing ever since the failed “green revolution” last year. Shutting down Gmail won’t stop the new youth movement in Iran, though. I believe that pro-democracy Iranians will find other ways to organize.
Tomorrow, February 11, is the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Ayatollah Khamenei promised that Friday will be marked with a “devastating punch to the West.” I hope that it’s not a terror attack. Many bloggers are predicting that there will be widespread protests in Tehran again, and simultaneous protests in other cities worldwide.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. I’ll definitely be watching the headlines for any signs of violence. Who know? Maybe we’ll see the rise of a new government tomorrow. Since a lot of news reports from Iran are censored or patently false, it’s hard to figure out what’s going on in that nation.
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