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To Prep for Protests, Iran Chokes Internet, Blocks Gmail

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, February 11 2010

Those running the show in Iran are throttling back that country's Internet access in advance of huge protests expected today, the 31st anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Republic. Slowing Internet traffic to the point that the 'net becomes useless is becoming a regular tactic in Iran as it tries to tamp down opposition. It's also exactly the sort of behavior that makes Hillary Clinton's talk about "one Internet" -- and the right of people around the globe to have access to it -- more than just feel-good rhetoric.

Someone affiliated with the Iran government is also saying today that Gmail is being blocked in Iran in part to encourage Iranians to switch from Google's servers to a home-grown email service.