Iran Blocks Gmail in Attempt to Quell National Unrest
In an attempt to quash the huge wave of protests that mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian government announced that it would block access to Google's Gmail. By shutting down Gmail, officials prevent users from organizing with each other and sharing images of the protests that might make the government look bad. A national email system will be offered in Gmail's place. This will give the government the power to censor and monitor its citizens online communications.
The protests, with their shouts of "death to the dictator," have the potential to derail the official celebrations. The government has mobilized troops across the nation to keep the country in check. Banning Gmail is merely the latest step in the Iranian government's campaign to crush dissent.
Last year, the government temporarily blocked Twitter after protesters used the social network to organise and broadcast the military and police response to the outside world. However, this was not effective since citizens were still able to broadcast the information.