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Iran Blocks Gmail, Will Replace with “National Email Service”

Iran has taken steps towards permanently blocking Gmail and other Google email services, the Wall Street Journal reports. The country plans to launch “a national email service for Iranian citizens” to replace it, which, it’s fair to say, will probably not give its users Tor-like anonymity and will only exacerbate dissident crackdowns. Google Buzz one-liners aside, this is chilling news.

Iranians have reported widespread service disruptions to Internet and text messaging services, though mobile phones appeared to be operating normally Wednesday.

Iran’s telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.’s email services, saying instead that a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out. It wasn’t clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Google’s email services in Iran.

Google didn’t have an immediate comment about the announcement.

(WSJ via Zee Frank’s Twitter)

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