Iran Only Blocked Gmail Because They Couldn’t Figure Out How to Just Block YouTube
It appears that Iran has today pulled back the block it had in place on Gmail, which the country put in place a week ago. We’d originally suggested that Iran didn’t truly understand the implications of their action, but it seems that they totally did: They just didn’t know how to stop it. That anti-Islam clip was the intended target, but the country didn’t know how to only block YouTube. To be fair, this type of digital incompetence is present universally, but it’s more prevalent in countries prone to censorship.
Mohammad Reza Miri, a member of the group that filters the Internet in Iran, was quoted by The Daily Star with the following:
Unfortunately, we do not yet have enough technical knowhow to differentiate between these two services. We wanted to block YouTube and Gmail was also blocked, which was involuntary[.]
We absolutely do not want YouTube to be accessible. That is why the telecommunications ministry is seeking a solution to fix the problem to block YouTube under the HTTPS protocol while leaving Gmail accessible. That will soon happen.
The Gmail block was an “involuntary” one. As in, they couldn’t figure out how to block one without the other, so just smacked both for the heck of it. If that doesn’t make you facepalm, I’m not sure what will. It also shows that they’re serious about the YouTube block.
YouTube was already seriously filtered, but a complete and permanent block is likely something Iran’s wanted for some time now. If nothing else, this whole debacle has given then an excuse to actually go ahead and do it. No wonder they’re on the bottom when it comes to Internet freedom.