Tehran (IP) - Since the beginning of the current year in the Iranian calendar (starting from March 21, 2021), the hostile actions of some American companies against domestic cyberspace services in Iran have increased, which is contrary to the US claim about the freedom of expression.

Iran PressIran news: Prohibition of providing services to Iranian companies, and removal of high-used applications (such as Taghche, Balad, Filimo, and Rubika) from Google Play are among these measures. In addition, there are reports of the boycott of Xiaomi smartphones (which account for about 38% of Iran's mobile phone market).

The chain of removing Iranian apps from Google Play started in recent months with "Rubika" and then reached "Zarrebin", "Aparat", "Filimo", "Balad" and "Taghche", which surprised Iranian users.

The story of removing Iranian programs from Google Play is not a new topic. In September 2017, Google, like Apple, sent an email and removed some Iranian applications.

Of course, removing Android applications from the Play Store does not cause many problems similar to Apple's action, because the Android operating system allows the users to download and install applications from various stores, and now these deleted applications can be downloaded from Iranian Android stores. However, we have to wait and see, the train of eliminating Iranian apps will still take more victims or will be limited to just a few specific applications. But regarding the removal of these applications various stories are raised on social networks.

The roles the sanctions play

One of the reasons for the removal of these applications is the US sanctions. In this regard, the Ministry of Communications issued a statement that reads: "Google's recent actions in eliminating effective and widely used Iranian applications show the resentment against the Iranian people and the height of their unhappiness and concern about the development and implementation of native Iranian businesses and platforms. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology strongly condemns the unilateralism of US platforms and the unfair sanctions against the country's technology and cyberspace ecosystem, and considers the least reasonable response to the restrictions to be the full development and application of indigenous achievements in cyberspace. Accordingly, it draws the attention of elites, digital business owners, students, industrialists and cyberspace and media activists to the following points: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology considers the owners of Iranian platforms active domestically and internationally and the developers of the national information network to be the pioneers of the country's independence and development of cyberspace, and declares its firm and full support for them ... We believe that international interaction is effective only with full hands, and today we are proud of the efforts, strength and creativity of the Iranian youth on the international stage. "

Reason for removal from the view of application managers

After the removal of Rubika and Zarrebin from Google Play, the managers of these applications did not have a specific position, but the National Cyberspace Center, in response to their removal from the Google Play Store, criticized Google's decision and announced that it would pursue this issue through international legal channels and if Google does not accept and repeat it this state agency will prevent its activity in the Iranian market. Regarding Aparat and Filimo, Sabaideh Group, which these two applications are its subsidiary, has stated that the reason for removing these applications from Google Play is international sanctions.

This organization provides the media with a Google email given to them 10 days ago stating that they will not be able to use Google Play due to Article 16.5 of the Developers Rules, an email that these officials of these applications specify that the reason for removing these applications is US sanctions. The follow-up shows, Balad, like Filimo and Aparat, received a similar email from Google stating that it could not use Google Play due to Article 16.5 of the Developers Rules, which stated that Google had to remove Balad from Google Play due to sanctions. Of course, the Taghche public relations manager told that they have been removed from Google Play without prior notice and receiving emails, and Google does not respond properly to their correspondence.

What does Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement mean?

According to the translation of the text of the email that Google sent to some of the removed applications, Article 5.16 Developer Rules means that the products on Google Play may be subject to U.S. Export Rules, Sanctions, and other jurisdictions, including U.S. Department of Commerce's Export Rules, US Treasury Department economic sanctions, and regulations of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) set by the United States Department of State.

Of course, these sanctions are related to applications with financial transactions that some apps have, and since Google is afraid of secondary US sanctions, it will remove Iranian applications.

The US effort to block Iran's technological advances in various fields, including applications of cyberspace, is not hidden from anyone, and the increase in hostile actions of American companies against cyberspace services will not cause Iranian companies to stop producing widely used applications. The action of American companies targeting Iranian applications once again highlighted their lack of credibility in supporting freedom and fair contest in cyberspace.


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