Reports from Iran indicate that Iranian web users were cut off from the Google search engine and Google’s Gmail service on Sunday.
ISNA reports that internet censorship officials announced that Google and Gmail will be blocked for their alleged criminal content. “The failure to remove the anti-Islamic film from YouTube, a Google company website” has been cited as the reason for this censorship.
The so-called anti-Islamic video on YouTube has wreaked havoc in the Muslim world for its unflattering depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Iranian authorities have called on the U.S. government to prosecute its producers.
Meanwhile, Google has refused the U.S. government’s request to remove the controversial video from its site, saying the contents do not violate any of its regulations.
Many popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been censored by the Iranian government since the mass protests of 2009; however, Iranian internet users manage to access these sites by using proxies.