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Google’s Email Is Halted In Iran, Article Review Example

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Article Review

Christopher RhoadsChip CumminsJessica E. VascellaroWall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Feb 11, 2010. pg. A.11

Abstract (Summary)

The regime, through its telecom arm, the Telecommunication Co. of Iran, could block the domain name address of Gmail, so that the country’s estimated 23 million Internet users would no longer be able to access it, he said.

(c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Iran’s telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.’s email services, saying a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out.

It wasn’t clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Gmail services in Iran, or even if Iran had implemented its new policy. Iranian officials have claimed technological advances in the past that they haven’t been able to execute.

A Google spokesman said, “We have heard from users in Iran that they are having trouble accessing Gmail. We can confirm a sharp drop in traffic, and we have looked at our own networks and found that they are working properly. Whenever we encounter blocks in our services we try to resolve them as quickly as possibly because we strongly believe that people everywhere should have the ability to communicate freely online.”

An Iranian official said the move was meant to boost local development of Internet technology and to build trust between people and the government.

The measure was announced on the eve of the culmination of celebrations to mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Republic. Competing plans for pro-government and antigovernment demonstrations have set the stage for clashes between authorities and opposition protesters, who have taken to the streets repeatedly since presidential elections in June.

The move marks another effort by the regime to close the gap with its opposition in controlling Iranian cyberspace, according to Internet security experts. The government has a tight grip over old media television, radio and newspapers but learned during the unrest following the contested election in June 2009 that the opposition and its supporters dominated new media, including social networking Web sites like Twitter and Facebook.

“The primary purpose for doing this is to control communication and mine that communication, so the government can crack down on dissenters and people who threaten the government,” said Richard Stiennon, founder of Internet security firm IT-Harvest.

“If the government can induce the population to use a state-controlled email service, it would have access to the content of all of those emails,” he added.

The Iranian regime has been intensifying a crackdown on supporters and leaders of Iran’s opposition. Part of the government’s efforts have involved tracking the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity of Iranians around the world, and identifying them at opposition protests abroad, say former Iranian lawmakers and former members of Iran’s elite security force.

Blocking an email service like Gmail is fairly simple, according to Mr. Stiennon, particularly in a place like Iran where the government controls the nation’s telecommunication infrastructure, and largely the service providers that depend on it. The regime, through its telecom arm, the Telecommunication Co. of Iran, could block the domain name address of Gmail, so that the country’s estimated 23 million Internet users would no longer be able to access it, he said.

Nikahang Kowsar, an Iranian online activist in Toronto, said he experienced disruptions using Gmail on Wednesday afternoon with friends in Iran. Usually, Gmail works without problems, he said.

Gmail replaced Yahoo as the most popular email service in Iran in the past year because users believe it is the most secure, or the hardest for government censors to crack, he said.

Users in Iran on Wednesday also reported to Mr. Kowsar that all of their Gmail contacts were shown on their computer screens as being “offline,” when that wasn’t the case, he added. “I was able to use the Google chat for about 10 minutes, but it was on and off,” he said.

Credit: By Christopher Rhoads, Chip Cummins and Jessica E. Vascellaro

Indexing (Document Details)

Subjects: Internet,  Electronic mail systems
Author(s): Christopher Rhoads,  Chip Cummins,  Jessica E. Vascellaro
Document types: News
Publication title: Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Feb 11, 2010.  pg. A.11
Source type: Newspaper
ISSN: 00999660
ProQuest document ID: 1959993121
Text Word Count 595
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com.ezproxy.fiu.edu/pqdweb?did=1959993121&sid=3&Fmt=3&cl ientId=20175&RQT=309&VName=PQD

Individual Worksheet

Date: MARCH 1ST, 2010

Article Title: Google’s Email Is Halted In Iran

Name of Publication/Periodical: The Wall Street Journal

Authors: Christopher Rhoads, Chip Cummins, Jessica E. Vascellaro

Date article was published: February 11th, 2010

  1. Which US company is the focus of this article? In which specific country/region of the world is this company’s business the topic of the article?

Google is an online search engine run and maintained by Google inc. the article chosen focuses on the company and specifically, its operations in Iran situated in the Middle East. 

  1. What is the main idea of article? Provide a brief summary.

Iranian’s government has blocked Gmail’s domain in the country, so that the approximately 23 million users of Iran cannot have access to their Google’s email.

  1. From the article, can you describe the target market?

The target market is the population of the country that amounts to close to 23 million. The population is spread over the globe and as a result, it enables the people to communicate more freely. Owing to the features of Gmail, it is not possible for the government to monitor the communication, thus the preference levels are high.

  1. Please describe in detail the marketing challenge(s) faced by this US company in the international business situation that is the topic of the news article. What is the role for marketing in meeting these particular challenges? Describe in detail what marketing should do/ is doing as stated in the article and in your opinion.

Government control and influence on the usage of products has, in most instances affected the utility drawn from services. The perceived threat to the government originates from the advantages of the service since it is a safe way to pass sensitive messages.

  1. Based on your learning thus far in this course, are there any insights/recommendations that you would offer the marketing team of this company with regard to the particular situation/issues described in the article?

The company should seek ways of resolving the crisis by outlining the need for communication among the Iranians. Owing o the political and diplomatic implications, the company ought to seek ways to implement a diplomatic understanding that will cater for this and other products introduced in the country. Owing to the political differences between the two countries, it is possible that Iran felt that the US was fuelling the push for political change in the country.

  1. Why did you choose this particular article? Please be specific. How does this article fit into the context of our course/how is it relevant to our course?

The article outlines the plight of the Iranian owing to the fact their needs cannot be achieved due to factors outside their control. It also gives insight into the implications of state control on the services that are necessary to the citizens of a country.

  1. Did you learn anything in particular from the PROCESS that you followed to search and choose your article. How many articles did you read/research before choosing this article?

Doing business outside geographical boundaries has its challenges and it only depends on the level of challenges faced. The difference in social, cultural, economic, political and geographical orientation has a major impact on the activities of a business. As a result, international business has to overcome numerous barriers in addition to hose faced by domestic entities.

  1. Which marketing concepts or terminology that you have learned thus far in this course (or in other marketing courses) were you able to apply to this assignment/marketing situation? Please specify which concepts and how these concepts apply.

Marketing environment is concerned with determining the factors that influence the process of conducting business since the business operates in a scenario where there are numerous obstacles. It is composed of micro and macro environmental factors. Market definition applies in this situation owing to the outline of the reason why the product was popular among the Iranians. The market for products from Google Inc has been defined and outlined with the product designed to cater for it.

  1. What is your key learning from this article?

The forces of the environment have differing influence on a business depending on the geographical location of the business as well as the target market. As a result, it is imperative to appreciate the characteristics of the macro-environmental factors of the target market before choosing the market from the list of options.

  1. In your opinion, how do you think the learning experience from this assignment benefits you personally and/or in your major field of study?

The learning experience in this excerpt is of utmost importance in enlightening me about the possibilities of the factors affecting marketing of products especially regarding international business. The fact that the needs of customers are not the only factor to consider teaches that careful analysis of the past occurrences can be insightful to the contemporary situation of the marketing environment.

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