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Syria Bans iPhone, Protest App 69

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that with 4,000 people killed in Syria since March, the government has banned the iPhone and threatened confiscation and prosecution for anyone found with an iPhone as the government tries to control information getting out of the country. Most international media have been banned from Syria since the uprising began, so footage of the violent crackdown has primarily come from activists filming material themselves and posting it on the internet. A mobile app for the iPhone called Souria Wa Bas (which roughly translates as 'Syria and That's All') covers the actions of opposition groups, including the Local Coordination Committees which claim to have members across the country and includes links for news, videos, and a map of opposition hot spots. The app's creators say they produced Souria Wa Bas to counter regime accounts of the opposition's activities. 'Under the fast-moving events in Syria and the deliberate attempts to distort the facts by some. We have compiled the most important Syrian news sources available,' say creators of the app at the Apple store."
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Syria Bans iPhone, Protest App

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  • Steve Jobs (Score:5, Informative)

    by camcorder ( 759720 ) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @09:41AM (#38256608)
    Ironically creator of iPhone had Syrian blood.
  • Jobs vs Assad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wombatmobile ( 623057 ) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @09:43AM (#38256620)
    Steve Jobs' biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, is a native of Syria. He recently expressed his support [] for the pro-democracy protesters
  • logical (Score:3, Informative)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @09:43AM (#38256622) Homepage Journal

    This is logical conclusion of any government - complete take over all powers and destruction of all liberties. Not that there were huge number of liberties in Syria to begin with, but it's the same trend with all governments.

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @09:47AM (#38256644)

    Yeah, 'cause, you know, the only way you can send information out of a country is through a country-specific, iphone-only app?

  • Maybe they would be better off banning guns instead
    (No, the 2nd amendment doesn't apply in Syria)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nice try Assad.

  • by Anonymous Coward


    And now lets go and help those poor people there.

  • Just force their telecom companies to turn off the service..

    ( ya, i know wifi exists too, but in practical terms it would squelch them )

    • Worked so well for Egypt, right?

      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

        i don't think Egypt actually killed phone service, but instead tried to block various types of access.

        Killing the service does it all in one fell swoop, and its done at the carrier level so it would be impossible to get around it.

        • One of the countries that got tossed in Arab Spring shut down their access at the carrier level, I remember- I thought it was Egypt.

  • Maybe it's because Assad et al think that new talking app is a blatant ripoff and bad misspelling of "Syria".
  • I wonder what they will do next. Are they going to do what japan did and attempt to close themselves off from the rest of the world?
  • If non-moderates take over, how long until they ban the apps again?
  • Dissident makes iPhone app about pro-democracy news, Syrian dictator responds by banning all iPhones. Also because it has cameras that can be used to post videos to the site.

  • I was quite confused for a moment.

  • Cue Android port in 3...2...1...

  • is that it is such an easy target for the government to take advantage of. If the iPhone and iPad keep gaining traction with the masses as they have, then it just becomes that much easier for the government to, say, implement an "internet kill switch". Variety is a good thing.
  • given that big companies have so much influence over US (and indeed western) politics, i wonder how long until Apple brings this to the courts - perhaps the powers that be in Syria have links to other phone manufacturers?

    i'd laugh if Apple sued Syria('s government) into nonexistence over banning the iPhone... money talks louder than protesters.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington