Iran: Google Is A Spying Engine

iran-flag-mapIn a sound byte that might remind you of Baghdad Bob*, Iran’s police chief has announced that Google is a tool for spying. And not only that, but the Iranian government is also using that and other concerns to form a “national internet” under state control.

Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam made his comments this week to the Iranian Labour News Agency (original article), and the story — as you can imagine — has been picked up by a number of other media outlets. As Israel’s Arutz Sheva reports, Moghaddam says a state-controlled internet will help protect Iran from its enemies:

Establishing a ‘halal’ Internet based on Islamic law will allow the Ahmadinejad regime to make sure unwanted material does not appear on social network services, which were instrumental in the protests against the allegedly rigged reelection of Ahmadinejad more than two years ago.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA announced on Sunday that the country’s own Internet network will solve problems with costs, security and bandwidth. The new network is to become operational in a few weeks and will not need international bandwidth for domestic connection.

There’s a little bit of history here beyond the use of the internet and social networks as a protest tool in Iran (and elsewhere). Earlier this year, Google finally began allowing web users in Iran to download apps such as Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome. Last year, some in Iran were angered when they discovered a Star of David atop the Iran Air headquarters on Google Maps and Google Earth.

* Don’t remember Baghdad Bob? See for a reminder.

(Stock image via Shutterstock. Used under license.)

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Google: Outside US


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • istvanturk


    In October 2011 i was in Tehran, Iran and visited Digital Media Expo. There was a separate tunnel section is decorated with a variety of Google services were showed. I’ll show you a couple of these.

    My blog in hungarian language so please use Google Translate or just watch the pics!

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide