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Iranian government bans foreign email use including Gmail and Hotmail

14 May 2012

The Iranian government has banned a number of industries in the country from using foreign email services such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, according to reports.

The AFP reported that a paper in region, Asr Ertebatat, broke the news that the telecommunications minister has ordered banks, insurance firms and telephone operators to stop using foreign email services and only use domains that end .ir, the domain of Iran.

The order also applies to the Iranian government, with departments now only able to use email addresses that end .ir or and all universities must use or .ir systems.

The move is the latest development in the ongoing censorship of the internet by officials in the country.

In 2010, Iran blocked access to Gmail for its citizens and rolled out its own national email service, claiming that it would boost local internet firms and build trust between the government and the people.

The nation also made the headlines last month when it was rumoured it was going to cut internet access completely, although the telecoms ministry dismissed the suggestion calling it "completely baseless".

Iran has itself been the victim of internet based attacks, though, with the infamous Stuxnet worm used to infect its command and control systems for nuclear reactors in order to hinder its work in this area, although no culprit has been officially identified.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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