Pokemon Go banned by Iranian authorities over ‘security’

This picture taken on July 26, 2016 near the Louvre museum's pyramide in Paris shows the Pokemon Go app on the screen of a smartphoneImage copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

Pokemon Go players catch cartoon monsters in real locations using the app

Authorities in Iran have banned the Pokemon Go app because of unspecified “security concerns”.

The decision was taken by the High Council of Virtual Spaces, the official body overseeing online activity.

Iran follows a number of other countries in expressing its worries over security related to the game.

But it becomes the first country to issue a ban of Pokemon Go, that challenges players to visit real-world locations to catch cartoon monsters.

Despite restrictions on internet usage Iranians on social media have discussed playing Pokemon Go in recent weeks.

Reports last month said Iranian authorities were waiting to see to what extent the game’s creators would co-operate with them before making a decision on banning it.

Pokemon Go: A global safety risk?

Saudi cleric issues Pokemon Go fatwa

Indonesia has banned police officers from playing the game while on duty, and a French player was arrested last month after straying on to a military base while trying to catch Pokemon.

A leading Saudi cleric said a fatwa (religious ruling) issued against an earlier Pokemon card game also applied to the new mixed-reality app.

The 16-year-old edict said the game contained “forbidden images” and violated an Islamic ban on gambling. But a fatwa’s influence might not carry beyond that particular scholar’s territory, and is not necessarily applicable to the whole country.

Earlier this week, authorities in New York state said they would ban some 3,000 registered sex offenders from playing Pokemon Go while they are on parole.

The ban is aimed at safeguarding the children who play the game.



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