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Iran Becomes the First Country To Ban Pokémon Go

Iran is the first country to ban Pokémon Go, the 100 million downloaded app, after security worries.

Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, a senior judicial official, said that the augmented reality game was a security risk for the country:

“There are many problems with the game and security-wise, it can create problems for the country and our people.”

The state has implemented an Internet filtering system in Iran that stops Iranians accessing blocked sites and apps

However, Iranians use anti-filtering software to get around restrictions and it is not uncommon to move from one platform to another once one site is blocked.

The government has also used smart filtering to replace past blocking software online. This has seen Iranians banned from sites such as Facebook and Twitter, although the tech savvy have found alternative ways to access the sites.

Instagram and the messaging app, Telegram are accessible although officials block images and messages seen as unsuitable.

The virtual reality game that relies on users catching cartoon characters has caused issues regarding trespassing and safety.

Indonesia has banned police officers from playing Pokémon Go whilst they are on duty. Meanwhile, a Saudi cleric said that a previous fatwa (religious ruling) that was issued to a Pokémon card game now applied to the new app.

On Sunday a 20 year-old man was shot to death in San Francisco, when he was playing the game, driving concern that the game should be played vigilantly.

David Lintott is a freelance journalist, covering culture, sport and society. He hails from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, which he considers the source of his world-weariness.

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