Iran bans Gmail, forgets to turn Internets off

Posted by Emory Kale

On the eve of the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian regime is feeling the pinch from the Green Movement. Iran's large population of under 30s is as tech savvy as they come, and the authorities are doing everything they can to stop them from disrupting government backed festivities with their demonstrations.

I blame everything on Gmail. And so it seems does a despotic regime under threat from its own population. But, it's just not the Internets that is creating fear in the barren wasteland that is Ahmadi's brain, it is communication in general. Not content with letting his god take care of things, Iran's bizarro world president is turning off the Internet, literally.

According to the New York Times (oh yeah, we read that there fancy elite media stuff here):

"In an effort to disrupt communications and head off huge opposition demonstrations planned for Thursday, the Iranian authorities on Wednesday drastically slowed Internet service in Iran and shut down text messaging services, and an official said that Gmail, the Google e-mail service, would be blocked."

It is not clear why the authorities haven't been getting on Hotmail's case as much but we think it is because it is a crap service. We joke, we joke. Hey wait, what if Ahmadi reads TG Daily and decides to go after Hotmail, too. Ah, just because Hugo Chavez reads us doesn't mean Ahmadi will.

I segued too far. If the situation in Iran wasn't so sad, the attempts by the regime would be laughable. To paraphrase Dirty Dancing, if I may, No one keeps Twitter down.

Despite the odds against it, the Green Movement hasn't abated. According to Time Magazine:

"With normal telecommunications blocked or censored (including reported plans to shut down Google's Gmail service and replace it with a homegrown product), opposition organizers are spreading information by word of mouth or in public places by text-messaging using Bluetooth wireless protocol, which despite its limited range is hard to block."

Thursday February 11, 2010 is going to be a heck of a day in Iran but, once again, the world may not get the full picture because of the crazies running the Internets over there. Strike a blow for democracy and better bandwidth in the Middle East by checking out what is going on in Iran tomorrow on Twitter, Facebook, anywhere you can find the information.