I was contacted by someone today who informed me that Google Chrome is blocked in a number of counties. It appears Chrome is not only blocked from download from these locations, but also will not run if it’s used from this IP space even if downloaded by proxy.
Google had this to say:
“In accordance with US export controls and economic sanctions regulations, we are unable to permit the download of Google Chrome in Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Sudan.”
Users are presented with this, and no further explanation:
A couple of other Google downloads are also blocked such as Google Talk, GMail Notify and “possibly” Google Toolbar and Google Earth.. Can any readers from these blocked locations confirm these last two?
It does seem rather odd, Google displays Adsense in these countries no problems and “technically” makes advertising revenue in these blocked countries so i don’t see how this is ok with the “Economic Sanction” regulations but making Chrome available isn’t. Also many other Open Source applications, browsers and similar technology from other major US companies isn’t blocked and can be freely downloaded from these sanctioned locations.
In general, a person may not export from the U.S. any goods, technology or services, if that person knows or has reason to know such items are intended specifically for supply, transshipment or re-exportation to Iran. Further, such exportation is prohibited if the exporter knows or has reason to know the U.S. items are intended specifically for use in the production of, for commingling with, or for incorporation into goods, technology or services to be directly or indirectly supplied, transshipped or reexported exclusively or predominately to Iran or the Government of Iran.
Is making something available to download worldwide on the internet “exporting” to a specific country?
I have no idea, so feel free to leave comments.