Iranian Government Blocks Gmail

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Protesters in Iran last summer. Photo: AFP

Iran announced today that it had suspended Gmail services within the country. Instead, users in Iran will be able to use a “national email service” facilitated by the country’s telecom agency.

The Times reports that the move signifies an effort to “disrupt communications and head off huge opposition demonstrations” planned in the country for Thursday, the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The opposition in Iran has relied on text messaging (also shut down today), e-mails, and videos in order to organize and communicate with each other. A Google spokesman confirmed “a sharp drop in traffic" that was not the result of "equipment failure."

Iran Disrupts Internet Service Ahead of Protests
[NYT]
Iranian Government Bans Gmail [Mashable]