Iran’s swipe at Gmail brings strong backlash
TEHRAN – Iran’s cyber monitors often tout their fight against the West’s “soft war” of influence through the Web, but trying to block Google’s popular Gmail appeared to be a swipe too far.
Complaints piled up – even from email-starved parliament members – and forced authorities Sunday to double down on their promises to create a parallel Web universe with Tehran as its center.
The strong backlash and the unspecific pledges for an Iran-centric Internet alternative to the Silicon Valley powers and others highlight the two sides of the Islamic Republic’s ongoing battles with the Web. It’s spurred another technological mobilization that fits neatly into Iran’s self-crafted image as the Muslim world’s showcase for science, including sending satellites into orbit, claiming advances in cloning and stem cell research and facing down the West over its nuclear program.
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