Iran to block all Google services, will offer "national email service" as Gmail alternative


Snip from Wall Street Journal article on crackdown today by Iranian authorities in advance of antigovernment protests planned for Thursday:

Iranians have reported widespread service disruptions to Internet and text messaging services, though mobile phones appeared to be operating normally Wednesday.

Iran's telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.'s email services, saying instead that a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out. It wasn't clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Google's email services in Iran.

Guess they weren't too psyched about the Buzz launch, huh? No comment yet from Google.

As Teresa Nielsen Hayden points out, this may be Iran's biggest misstep yet. They will live to regret the day they promised nationalized email. Two words: TECH SUPPORT.

[Image: "Martians over Yazd," billboard on top of a computer store in Iran. A Creative Commons-licensed image shot by Paul Keller.]