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IBM Has Blocked SoftLayer Cloud Users In Iran

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IBM moves to block its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure service from countries restricted by US sanctions including Iran, Cuba, and Syria

IBM has blocked its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure service in Iran, as well as other countries that are subject to US trade and economic sanctions.

A SoftLayer user from Iran first spotted the changes, and posted an IBM email to Reddit.

Sanctions

“Currently, at customer sign-up, SoftLayer blocks IP addresses that originate from countries that are subject to U.S. trade and economic sanctions,” read the email, according to Reddit user Borayeris.

“At this time, these countries are Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Starting February 1, 2016, SoftLayer will implement network-wide blocking of these IP addresses.”

These changes are confirmed on IBM SoftLayer’s own legal FAQ page.

IBMIBM has not yet made an official statement, and has not responded to TechWeekEurope at the time of publishing.

Hessam Armandehi, the CEO of Iran’s largest app store Cafe Bazaar told VentureBeat last night: “To my knowledge, this is the first time a hosting company has blocked Iran, and it affects a wide array of reputable websites and apps.”

IBM goes on to state: “This policy affects all SoftLayer datacenter locations and environments, and blocks access by IP addresses registered to countries subject to U.S. trade and economic sanctions.”

Borayeris wrote on Reddit: “We have a Website that we publish images of modern days of Iran. The site is for the Iranian people which spread all over the world. Many of the religious Iranians hates from our site. Actually we were expecting to be blocked by Iranian government soon.

“But do you know what had happened? Our site is not reachable from Iran because of the company named SoftLayer. A company which is owned by IBM. A company which is based on a country that supports freedom of speech. Isn’t it ironic?”

IBM acquired Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider SoftLayer in 2013, and the company is now a massive part of IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy. IBM now has more than 41 cloud data centres around the world.

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