You cannot catch ’em all if you happen to live in Tehran.
Iran blocked Pokémon Go for its people after the country’s High Council of Virtual Spaces expressed concerns about it posing a security risk, according to the BBC. The government committee, which controls internet connectivity for Iranians, did not detail its concerns about the game that has players chasing down digital creatures in the real world by combining GPS and Google Maps technologies. Pokémon Go has dealt with a number of criticisms from governments and citizens with regards to its security. This seems to largely stem from its hyperpopularity as it is one of the top downloaded and highest-grossing apps ever released for iOS or Android.
We’ve reached out to Niantic for a comment, and we’ll update this post with any new information.
Following the release of the game in the United States in early July, some people began to point out that the game had access iPhone players’ entire Gmail accounts. But Niantic claimed, and outside observers confirmed, that these fears were unfounded. That has not stopped Pokémon Go from attracting a number of conspiracy theorists who claim it is a CIA plot, an ISIS tool, and who the hell knows what else.
But, of course, the technology here isn’t anything new. It already existed in the location-based game Ingress from developer Niantic, which is responsible for Pokémon Go. The concerns are more common here because of the volume of players engaging in the GPS-powered fun. That is one of the reasons that New York state said it is prohibiting 3,000 sex offenders from playing the game while they are on parole.
In Iran, however, the company did not point to any one issue as the reason behind its decision.