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."
February 11, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
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