Iran’s telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.’s email services, saying a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out.
It wasn’t clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Gmail services in Iran, or even if Iran had implemented its new policy. Iranian officials have claimed technological advances in the past that they haven’t been able to execute.
A Google spokesman said in a statement, “We have heard from users in Iran that they are having trouble accessing Gmail. We can confirm a sharp drop in traffic, and we have looked at our own networks and found that they are working properly. Whenever we encounter blocks in our services we try to resolve them as quickly as possibly because we strongly believe that people everywhere should have the ability to communicate freely online.”
In a way, it’s a good thing. It does skip the step where Google discovers — shocking! — that the tyrannical regime they’ve been bowing to has hacked the accounts of brave dissidents, putting their lives in danger. No false sense of safety here now.