Iran restores access to Gmail, keeps YouTube blocked


Iranian officials say they blocked Gmail in an attempt to censor Google-owned YouTube. 

Gmail users in Iran now have access to their email accounts just one week after authorities blocked it, the AFP reported.

YouTube, on the other hand, is still censored in Iran, and according to officials it’s going to stay that way.

Abdsolsamad Khoramabadi, an Iranian official who deals with finding any content deemed illegal online, originally announced on Sept. 23 that “Google and Gmail will be filtered nationwide … until further notice.” The decision was met with criticism from citizens and some officials.

However, a member of the telecommunications ministry committee said Monday that Gmail was actually blocked in the process of trying to block YouTube.

“We absolutely do not want YouTube to be accessible,” Mohammad Reza Miri told the Mehr News Agency. “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 happen soon.”

Iran blocked access to Google, Gmail and YouTube last week after the anti-Islamic video “The Innocence of Muslims” was posted on YouTube and led to numerous riots across the Middle East.

Iran joined Pakistan and Afghanistan in censoring YouTube from its citizens in order to prevent the trailer from spreading, while Libya, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Malaysia have blocked the controversial video while leaving the rest of YouTube accessible. Despite pressure from the White House, YouTube refused to remove the trailer from its site and said it did not violate community guidelines regarding hate speech.

Iran has blocked Google and YouTube before, but some Iranian citizens were been able to find a loophole—using virtual private networks (VPNs) that allow their computers to appear as if they are located in another country, according to NBC News

Photo via indigoprime/Flickr

Michelle Jaworski

Michelle Jaworski

Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and the resident Game of Thrones expert at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has brought her knowledge to conventions like Con of Thrones. She is based in New Jersey.