THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT has started filtering Google searches and Gmail in order to increase its own security.
According to reports, like this one from Reuters, the Iranian government announced its intention to screen Google communications on Sunday and has already made good on its promise.
"Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice," said an official known only as Khoramabadi.
Since then there have been suggestions that the ban relates to the controversial Innocence of Muslims film that has been gathering views on Youtube. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have banned Youtube for not removing the firm already.
We've asked Google to confirm whether it is being filtered or blocked in Iran, but so far it has not replied.
Iran has a rather controlling attitude to the internet and has already banned access to other online properties, including a rather hopeful sounding virtual US embassy.
Perhaps because of this it is said to be working towards launching its own alternative network. This could launch next year and would see the country launch its own local intranet.
Google has confirmed reports that some of its users in the country cannot access its services, adding that it is not aware of any problem at its end.
"We have received information that users cannot get access to Gmail and Google Search in Iran. We have checked our networks and there is nothing wrong on our side," said a spokesperson. µ