Iran Becomes First Country to Ban Pokémon GO

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Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces, a government agency in charge of monitoring and censoring the internet, has issued a decree banning Pokémon GO throughout the country, the BBC reports. Iran is the first country to have taken such measures, citing vague “security concerns.”

Before issuing the ban, Iran’s authorities were hoping that Niantic would cooperate with them, though what exactly they wanted changed is unspecified.

The Supreme Council of Virtual Space was established in 2012. Its mandate, according to the BBC, is to protect Iran from “harm” due to “the increasing spread of information and communication technologies, particularly that of the global internet network and its important role in personal and social life.”

This is what censorship looks like. This is what should get people angry. Not localization changes, but actual government-mandated changes or bans. By censoring the internet, Iran is not protecting its citizens but rather the ruling government.

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