The news that Iran might be seeking to create a 'halal Internet' isn't new. But while speculation about Iran's withdrawal from the online world abounds, the country's recent move to block Gmail and—though inconsistently—Google Search, is one of the first concrete measures to indicate just how serious the plans may be.
As Reuters reported on Sunday, a deputy government minister, Abdolsamad Khoramabadi announced that both services would be blocked "within a few hours." That news was followed by reports on social media that Gmail was in fact blocked, and Google Search appeared only to be blocked in some areas, or on some ISPs. A report on Monday from Global Voices Online confirmed that information.