Syria Bans iPhone To Suppress Protesters

    December 2, 2011

Attention iPhone dependents: Could you imagine what it might look like if your government told you that you couldn’t use your beloved, probably integral-to-your-new-way-of-life iPhone? Well, in Syria, it looks like this:

That’s a photo of the mandate (which is currently making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook) being issued to activists in Syria by the country’s Customs Department of the Syrian Finance Ministry. I am not versed in Arabic, but reports say that the slip of paper being handed out reads, “The authorities warn anyone against using the iphone in Syria.”

The Twitterscape was quick to react to the news:

#iPhone is now banned in #Syria..I’m afraid that the next step is banning air as well 24 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Since the protests began in January, Syria has banned just about all foreign press from entering the country so devices like iPhones have been crucial in ensuring that the rest of the world has any clue as to what’s going on in Syria. One observation I can’t quite overlook is… yeah, iPhones are surging right now in popularity so of course they’re going to be targeted first, but they’re not the only hand-held device that can record photos or videos. This decision by the Syrian authorities makes about as much sense as if a government decided to prevent anybody from drinking alcohol but then only banned bourbon (I just assume that bourbon is the most popular liquor because it’s my favorite). Does the Syrian government just not know that Apple is not the be-all-end-all of smartphones? This did not go unnoticed in the reactions:

The hightech community woke up today to pleasant news. #Syria has banned #iPhone. #Android will be part of national anthem. 13 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Of course, the top-shelf tweet so far goes to this astute observer:

Syria bans iPhone, the greatest device ever built by a Syrian. Go figure.: 43 minutes ago via twitterfeed · powered by @socialditto