The Iranian government has been cracking down on Internet freedoms within the country. The country allegedly has plans to move towards a national Internet system able to filter content along the lines of what China does with the Internet for its citizens. Iran has now instituted a new regulation that prevents banks, insurance firms, and telecommunications companies from dealing with customers who send e-mails from foreign e-mail addresses.
In effect, Iran is banning correspondence with customers on services such as Gmail, Hotmail, or any other US based e-mail services. The Ministry of Telecommunications has ordered that only e-mail addresses belonging to Iran can be used. All e-mail addresses used within the country have to end with iran.ir, post.ir, and chmail.ir for consumers.
Governmental organizations can only use addresses ending in .ir or gov.ir. Universities must now use addresses ending in .ir or ac.ir. The Iranian government says that this move is to protect confidential information. The statement seems to point a finger at foreign email services as possible security breaches. The move would also allow for easier monitoring of e-mails sent by people within Iran.