The Syrian government has banned the use of the Apple iPhone in an attempt to shut down the ability of citizens to share news and media of the ongoing uprising in the country.
According to a report by the Hareetz newspaper in Israel, the Syrian Finance Ministry issued a statement to activists warning against the use of the iPhone.
“It is enough for any tourist or guest visiting Syria to own an iPhone to be a spy suspect,” a Syrian activist speaking on condition of anonymity told Hareetz.
Since the Syrian government barred foreign journalists from entering the nation in March, citizens were forced to take the reporting upon themselves, relying on devices such as the iPhone in order to report on the uprising and the violent crackdowns carried out by the government.
Activists had been using an app distributed by protestors, Syria Alone, to share news of the protests as well as “a collection of videos and jokes poking fun at the incumbent president Bashar al-Assad” since November, Russian news website Ria Novosi reports.