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Google says email traffic down in Iran

Google said it has seen a sharp drop in traffic among Iranian users of Gmail, and confirmed that users there say theyb are having trouble accessing their e-mail accounts.

The company's statement comes after a report by The Wall Street Journal that the Iranian government said it put a "permanent suspension of Google's email services."

The nation's telecommunications agency said that instead, it would soon roll out its own e-mail service for Iranian citizens, accoridng to the Journal. Iranian leaders have issued stern warnings to citizens against participating in protests Thursday, the day marking the establishment of the Islamic Republic there.

Google drew international attention earlier this year when it announced that it may withdraw from China because of that nation's censorship practices. The State Department has supported the company's move and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton included the firm's experiences in China among the reasons to push for Internet freedom as part of the U.S. government's diplomatic agenda.

"Whenever we encouter blocks in our services we try to resolve them as quickly as possibly because we strongly believe that people everywhere should have the ability to communicate freely online," Google said in its statement about Iran. "Sadly, sometimes it is not within our control."

By Cecilia Kang  |  February 11, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
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Have readers noticed that there is no counterpoint in this article? And no mention of the fact that Google actually helps certain repressive regimes (such as India) to censor content?

Posted by: LBrettGlass | February 11, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

India is a repressive regime? Forst time I have heard of the World's Largest Democracy being called repressive. It certainly must pale in comparison to Iran where people are dying because they hate oppression and yearn for more freedom.

I see Iran as a roque nation waving its weapons to control the region. I see Iran as stifling the voice of dissent.

India may not be at all perfect... but they are a lot better government than Iran. So, that is the counterpoint.

Posted by: EZReader1 | February 16, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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