The BBC reported on August 5:
Authorities in Iran have banned the Pokemon Go app because of unspecified "security concerns".Al Hurra (Arabic) gives more details:
The decision was taken by the High Council of Virtual Spaces, the official body overseeing online activity.
Iran follows a number of other countries in expressing its worries over security related to the game.
But it becomes the first country to issue a ban of Pokemon Go, that challenges players to visit real-world locations to catch cartoon monsters.
Iran, which bans many global news sites and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, banned Pokemon Go days after the launch of the game at the beginning of July because of national security concerns due to the very popular game leading users to sites using GPS on their mobile phones.The Al Hurra/AFP Arabic article went on to say that young Iranians are playing the game anyway using virtual private networks to get around the ban.
Deputy Prosecutor General Abdul Samad Khurram Ebadi told the Tasnim news agency on Friday, "Since this game is a mixture of virtual and physical games it may pose a lot of problems for the country and people for security reasons."
Ebadi stressed that the High Council of Virtual Spaces unanimously decided to ban this game.
Analyst Ali Reza Daoud, a defender of the government's position, told Tasnim, "These games could become a tool to launch guided missiles, and may cause interference with work of ambulances and fire-fighting equipment."
Daoud expressed his fear that the American developers of the game would use it to spy on Iran.
Because the game concentrates its characters on publicly known popular spots like parks and historic monuments, there are relatively few places in Iran to catch the virtual characters due to a paucity of knowledge about Iran. Many of the players are gravitating to only a couple of major parks in Tehran. Players from towns as far as 30 kilometers away go to the Tehran sites to try to "catch them all."
The authorities expressed concerns over improper mixing between males and females playing the game, but the players are so engrossed in their phones that it doesn't seem to be an issue, according to the article.
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