Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

Iran@gmail.com = FAIL

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Seen around the Twitterverse (HT for Evgeny Morozov’s RT @csoghoian):

How do I sign up for the Iranian Govt’s new free email service? At least they’re not in bed with the NSA.

As reported just about everywhere, the Iranian government announced it’s banning Gmail, a day before the anniversary of the Iranian revolution and the street protests anticipated to mark said anniversary. Access to the service may have been blocked already, after a cable cut last week already diminished traffic. There’s a technical point here that only Wired seems to have picked up:  Gmail uses encryption by default, which makes it more of a challenge to government surveillance than comparable online providers.  And – per the tweet above – one can’t help but wonder if recent news about Google’s relationship with the NSA didn’t play a role, given the role of Twitter in last summer’s protests and the encouragement given Twitter by the State Department.

I wonder, though, if this isn’t more of a means of legal cover for the arrest of opposition protestors – will holding a Gmail account (which, if the service is blocked, can’t be deleted) be used as a chargeable offense by the authorities?

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Written by Mark

February 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Technology

Tagged with ,

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