Pokemon Go has caused its fair share of headline-grabbing issues, and in some cases lawmakers are getting involved, handing out tickets to people playing in their cars or barring sex offenders from using the game. That said, no major territory has outright banned the mega-popular app – until now.
The first country to ban Pokemon Go is, unsurprisingly, Iran. Given Iran’s theocratic, isolationist government, you might expect the ban to be for religious or anti-Western reasons (Iran bans a lot of things on these grounds), but according to the country’s officials, they’re banning the game strictly for security reasons.
The decision was handed down by the High Council of Virtual Spaces, which controls anything network-related in Iran. Pokemon Go has certainly raised privacy and security concerns around the world, but the things Iranians are allowed to see and do on the Internet or their phones has always been tightly controlled. In other words, Pokemon Go getting the boot is just par for the restrictive course.
It’s unknown how extensive this ban will be – will Pokemon Go simply not be offered for official download in the Apple or Android stores, or will PokeStops and gyms be completely scrubbed from Iran’s maps? Regardless, we highly suggest you don’t try to catch Rattatas in Tehran.