Pokémon Go Banned in Iran Due to 'Security Concerns'
posted on by Karen Ressler
BBC News reported on Friday that Iran's official body overseeing online activity, the High Council of Virtual Spaces, has banned the smartphone app Pokémon Go due to "security concerns."
The game has not officially launched in Iran, though Iranians on social media have discussed playing Pokémon Go.
According to a report written by the Islamic Dissemination Organisation's Mehr News Agency and translated by anti-censorship blog Global Voices Advox, Iran's National Foundation for Computer Games (NFCG) told the developers of Pokémon Go that the NFCG would filter the game before it would allow it to launch in Iran. NFCG director Hasan Karimi Ghodosi said there would be two conditions: that the game's server be located in Iran and that locations in the game be coordinated in advance with the NFCG.
Iran is the first country to ban the app, though a Saudi cleric previously claimed a 16-year-old fatwa (religious ruling) against the Pokémon card game should apply to Pokémon Go as well. New York state has banned registered sex offenders from playing the game.
The Pokémon Go app launched in select countries including the United States on July 6, and has since launched in more than 50 countries.