The Iranian government has officially banned the use of Gmail in the country, reports The Wall Street Journal. In place of Google’s email platform, Iran will allow citizens to use a State-sponsored national email service.
The ban coincides with the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Republic, which is expected to draw mass protests and riots from citizens who are both for and against the regime. Last summer, during the controversy surrounding the Iranian elections, Iran banned social network FriendFeed. Facebook was also banned around election time. As many other communications outlets were blocked around this time period, Iranian citizens took to Twitter as the main tool of choice to spread information about what is going on.
Already it appears that the government is beginning to crack down on text messaging. It should be interesting to see if Iran starts handing out bans on social networks like Facebook and Twitter if citizens begin to spread information about demonstrations and protests on the networks. Earlier this year, the country banned Badoo, a popular social network in emerging markets.