Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721

Digital Protectionism: Preparing for the coming Internet Embargo

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The warning shots have been fired and the lines drawn in virtual space. The Middle East has been in a precarious position over the last 100 years, being semi-dependent on foreign countries for various services. There are no Middle Eastern search engines, email services, chat or cloud platforms, or online retailers that are worth discussing in earnest. The entire region and its users may be removed from accessing the Web, with no viable options to turn to. Protectionist policies exist in every nation, for a variety of reasons; digital protectionism is the next logical step.



[1] L. Lessig, Code and other laws of cyberspace, Basic Books, 1999.

[2] C. Rhoads, C. Cummins, and J.E. Vascellaro, ‘Iran to Suspend Google's Email’,, Feb. 2010.

[3] ‘Google “may end China operations”,’ BBC, Jan. 2010.

[4] J. Yang, ‘Google Defends Censorship of Web Sites,’ ABC News, Jan. 2006.

[5] S. Levy, ‘Google and the China Syndrome’, Newsweek, vol. 147, 2006, pp. 14-14.

[6] K. Shoemaker, ‘When Ideologies Collide: SourceForge Blocks Countries on US Sanction List’, OSTATIC: Find . Evaluate . Collaborate, Jan. 2010.

[7] ‘Google to stop censoring Chinese search results “soon”, China warns of consequences -- Engadget.’

[8] I. Abdulrahman, ‘Post Clinton’s Internet Freedom Speech:US- SourceForge Blocked Syria, Sudan, Iran, N. Korea & Cuba: Is Open Source Still Open?’, ArabCrunch.

[9] ‘ Clarifying’s denial of site access for certain persons in accordance with US law.’

[10] C. Rhoads, C. Cummins, and J.E. Vascellaro, ‘Iran to Suspend Google's Email’,, Feb. 2010.

[11] ‘Iran Shuts Down Gmail, Announces National E-Mail Service,’ Feb. 2010.

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1 Alexa rankings as of March 2010 -

4 Google’s email service,

5 Any traffic that appears to originate from inside Iran