Iran bans Pokémon Go

Iran has become the first ever country to ban the pokemon Go mobile game, citing security issues concerning the use of the game’s use of location-based virtual reality technology. any game that wants to operate nationwide in Iran needs to get a permit from the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, and the Pokemon Go app has not yet requested such a permission, the semi- official isna news agency quoted Abolhasan Firouzabadi, the head of Iran’s supreme council of virtual space, as saying.

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A senior judicial official, Abolsamad Khorramabadi, said last week that the game’s use of a combination of physical reality and virtual space posed a security dilemma and that the country’s intelligence apparatus approved of the Ban.

there are many complicated issues with the game and security-wise, it can create problems for the country and our people, Tasnim, another semi official news agency quoted him as saying.

Iran’s tech-savvy young people quickly embraced the game, which has become a global phenomenon since its release last month.

Officials had previously hinted that they may allow the game to function in Iran on condition that its data servers would be transferred inside the country and that certain locations would be excluded. That request appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Internet filtering is rife in Iran, but it has not stopped millions of users accessing blocked apps and website. Iranians have mastered anti-filtering softwares to bypass state restrictions and have proved extremely resilient, often migrating in success of the messaging app Telegram, which is used by one of the four Iranians, is testament to that. Millions of Iranians are also on Facebook and twitter, despite access to both being blocked. authorities have resorted to smart filtering in recent years, a mechanism that appears to be replacing the traditional blanket blocking of online services. Instagram and Telegram remain accessible, but officials say that content deemed inappropriate has been blocked.

using anti- filtering software affects connectivity speeds and it is not clear if using it would be feasible when playing Pokeman Go. internet speeds have improved significantly since Hassan Rouhani came to power in 2013.

The decision on filtering, however does not solely in government’s hands. other institutions that act independently of Rouhani’s administration, such as the judiciary, also carry a great deal of weight.

Mana Neyestani, a prominent Iranian cartoonist, reacted to the ban by drawing a cartoon depicting a Pokeman Go charater fleeing from the Iranian morality police.

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