Application blocked by court order after lawsuit filed over privacy concerns
Facebook-owned Instagram has been blocked in Iran, marking another social media block from the country this month. A different Facebook company, WhatsApp, was banned at the beginning of the month, stemming from Mark Zuckerberg's family heritage, which is Jewish. Instagram was also temporarily banned in the country for 12 hours last December.
Ban by censors opposed by Iranian government officials
Censors in Iran have moved to ban the WhatsApp messaging service, for being owned by an "American Zionist," according to reports. The reasoning of the ban stems from the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook for a total of $19 billion earlier this year, with the Jewish background of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg being at issue.
Change linked to loosened US sanctions on Iranian trade
Apple will start selling hardware to people planning to bring them to Iran, according to an official statement. The company tells the Wall Street Journal that the policy change is a result of a May 30th decision by the US Treasury Department, easing trade sanctions. "We’ve been told by the US government that most Apple products are covered by regulatory changes announced by the Treasury Department," a spokeswoman explains. "As a result, Apple is no longer banned from selling Macs and iOS devices to customers who plan to bring or send those products to Iran."
Huawei said to have offered 1.3 million euros of embargoed tech
Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei will likely see increased scrutiny from US regulators, as a report from Reuters found that the company offered to sell at least 1.3 million euros worth of embargoed computer equipment to the largest mobile phone operator in Iran two years ago. The report cites documents in which Huawei and a closely-tied Iranian affiliate proposed providing Mobile Telecommunication Co of Iran (MCI) with Hewlett-Packard servers, disk arrays, and switches. The revelation is the second in as many months that has seen a major Huawei partner in Iran accused of violating technology embargoes.
Gmail block had led to parliamentary complaints
Authorities in Iran have unblocked access to Google's email service, it was announced today. Access to Gmail had been blocked last week in protest over a YouTube video that had been deemed blasphemous by religious leaders. Reuters reports that the reversal came partly as a result of complaints from officials within Iran's own government, and Iranian officials now claim that the blocking of Gmail was unintentional.
Confirms first step in private national network complete
Iran has blocked its citizens from accessing Google and Gmail. The country is blocking access to the web giant's websites as part of the ongoing protests over a YouTube video deemed blasphemous by religious leaders, however some see it as the first stage in the country creating its own national network, separate from the Internet.
Says Georgia incident not isolated
The policy director for the National Iranian American Council, Jamal Abdi, is speaking out on the subject of discrimination against Iranians at Apple Stores. Writing in the New York Times, Abdi claims that an incident at an outlet in Georgia was not isolated. "Imagine if your ethnicity determined which products you were able to buy. Or if sales clerks required you to divulge your ancestry before swiping your credit card. Some of us don’t have to imagine," he comments.
Stuxnet developed by US and Israel, only to escape
The Stuxnet malware said to have ravaged Iranian nuclear facilities two years ago, and long thought to have been deliberately planted, was indeed the result of a joint collaboration between the United States and Israel. In a lengthy, in-depth examination of Stuxnet's history, The New York Times has examined the development of the worm, its survival through the end of the Bush administration, and the Obama administration's decision to press ahead with cyberattacks as a means of slowing Iran's alleged progression toward the development of nuclear capabilities.
ZTE allegedly sold embargoed US hardware to Iranian telecom
Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer ZTE is reportedly under investigation by the US Department of Commerce over alleged sales of embargoed US computer equipment to Iran. Commerce Department officials close to the investigation tell Reuters that the department is aggressively conducting its investigation, and fines for ZTE could range into the tens of millions of dollars.
Stoppage likely to continue for weeks.
Iran is apparently proactively censoring selected Internet sites. Reports out of that country claim that the government there is blocking access to Google, Yahoo, and Gmail, It is also preventing access to sites using the secure Https protocol, effectively preventing any online banking services.
Sources make more dubious claims
A source within the Iranian military has reportedly provided more details into the alleged hack that is claimed to have resulted in the loss of the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone. The unnamed sources have told The Christian Science Monitor that engineers exploited a GPS vulnerability to trick the stealth drone into making an autopilot landing on Iranian soil.