Iran’s Minister of Communications and Technology has announced a ban on the use of foreign email services such as Yahoo and Gmail in order to “protect information security.”
The Mehr News Agency reports that Minister Reza Taghipour released a letter addressed to Mohammad Karampour, the head of the Radio Communications and Regulations Organization, saying that public emails are “tools of transferring information out of the country.” Therefore, foreign email hosts such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and MSN are now forbidden for use in Iran.
The list of domestic email service providers should be posted and kept up to date for public use, the minister writes.
According to the minister, all government offices, private sector companies, universities and higher education organizations can use domestic email.
Heydar Moslehi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister, has expressed concern over the spread of social networking sites on the internet, calling it a “new threat” against the Islamic Republic.
Iranian officials have also claimed that Yahoo and Gmail control the emails of their users and collect private information.
Iran is also developing a national internet aimed protecting the transfer of information and “cleansing” inappropriate content.