IRAN: U.S. Sanctions Limiting Protesters’ Efforts

June 17, 2009

While the Iranian government’s role in blocking access to key websites is well documented by Western media sources, protesters in Iran are reporting to their American supporters that U.S. Sanctions are also preventing them from accessing other web-based tools that may prove key to their efforts.

San Francisco, CA (PRnine – June 17, 2009) – Iranian protesters, by way of U.S.-based supporters working under the condition of anonymity, are reporting U.S. sanctions are blocking access to several programs associated with Google Pack rather than government censorship.

Of specific interest to Iranian protesters is Google Video Chat, which provided the only alternative to the popular online communication program Skype. Protesters attempting to download Google Pack in Iran to access its array of programs recently received the following series of messages in reverse chronological order:

Google Pack is not currently available in your country, thank you for your interest
You are accessing this page from a forbidden country. less than 10 seconds ago
Your client does not have permission to get URL / from this server. half a minute ago

Google Pack also contains Google Earth, an interactive global atlas Iranian protesters also view as conducive to their efforts.

In spite of the how U.S. sanctions are limiting protest efforts, government censorship still remains a large obstacle as Iranian protesters are also reporting http://iran.twazzup.com is now blocked. The website is a subdomain at Twazzup, a popular website which aggregates Twitter posts, photos, videos and news stories tagged with Iran.

Official contact information will be provided shortly.

Google Pack, Google Earth, and Gmail Video Chat are trademarks of Google Inc; Twazzup is a trademark of Twazzup; Skype is a trademark of Skype Ltd.

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