Iran is once again playing with its internet on/off switches, this time around re-enabling access to Gmail inside the country. The email site had been blocked since last week, but the government has now made the site available again.
YouTube remains blocked and will remain so for the foreseeable future due to obvious reasons.
In fact, Iran officials now say that Gmail was only collateral damage, they only wanted to block YouTube but they managed to block Gmail as well.
Iran says it doesn't have the technology and the know-how to block YouTube without affecting Gmail.
Considering that they're on different domains, it's hard to imagine how it could be any easier to discern between the two. But the problem had to do with encrypted connections.
So they may be telling the truth actually, even after the "block" Gmail remains accessible via encrypted HTTPS connections.
Given that no one is ignorant enough to specifically opt for an unencrypted connection in Gmail in Iran, since HTTPS is the default, the block probably didn't affect all that many people.
Iran is now looking at a way to block YouTube HTTPS connections while leaving Gmail HTTPS connections open. Currently, YouTube is blocked
if you're trying to access it via the plain HTTP but works if you use the encrypted version of the protocol.
This from the country that is reportedly working on its own, closed-off version of the internet, which will only work inside Iran. If this is the best their experts can do, it's safe to say Irannet isn't landing anytime soon.
All of this is over the video mocking the prophet Muhammad
which has been causing tensions all around the Arab world and not only. YouTube blocked the video in countries where it would be deemed illegal and this likely includes Iran.
But some countries weren’t content with that and want the video removed altogether from the site, threatening to block YouTube in the meantime, if they can figure out how to do it in the first place.