back to article Apple desperate to prevent nightmare scenario of iPad in Iranian hands

An Apple Store in the US state of Georgia refused to sell an iPad to an American teenager because she spoke the Iranian language Farsi in the store. A student in the nearby city of Atlanta was also banned from buying an iPhone for the same reason, according to a report by local TV channel WSBTV. "I just can't sell this to you. …

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Anonymous Coward

Is this for real?

Only in the US of A.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Stupidity knows no borders.

Hahaha, Symon that's awesome, that is one the dumbest, ill measured sack of crap rants anyone has written on this site, and Andrew Orlowski is an editor here.

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@Symon

Ahem, chill pill needed by others too.

1) "Only in USA" is not the same as "All Americans". While being an important center of cultural and scientific progress, it's also the promised land of extreme nutjobs and bigots.

2) You can't deny the US has a recent history of security hysteria, Americans themselves being its biggest critics. Do I need to point you to "Security Theater", tazings, flight blacklists etc. ad nauseam?

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@Symon

"its citizens have won about a third of all Nobel prizes ever awarded"

They were mostly immigrants, so it doesn't count!

;-P

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Anonymous Coward

Not to be outdone, Google joins in the fun by blocking Cuba from Analytics

State-run website Cubadebate reports that attempts to access Google Analytics direct people to the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control website. Cubadebate also slams the move as "outrageous censorship," criticizing Google for blocking Analytics in addition to previous blocks on other tools like Google Earth, Google Toolbar, Google Desktop, and Google Code Search.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/21/3105443/google-analytics-blocked-cuba-us-sanctions

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Anonymous Coward

Will

Apple survey online customers with an ethnic tick box survey just before you press the buy now button?

'I'm sorry but your purchase has been declined on ethnic grounds.'

We apologise for any inconvenience, please try again when we have become more enlightened.

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FAIL

south of heaven

>Only in the US of A.

Yeah unfortunately not only were we stupid enough to not let the South US walk away like we should have in the mid 1800s (whats another 3rd world country to the south?) but we even gave them back the right to vote even after they committed the ultimate form of high treason. Even today many in the region care more about controlling the behavior of others than doing whats right for the country.

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FAIL

Apple..

Team Apple: World Police.

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Mushroom

Re: Apple..

Being that it is Georgia...chances are they find it difficult to sell to ANYONE who isn't "lilly white" anyway...regardless of what language they are speaking.

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Facepalm

My first thought was that you can't blame Apple for the actions of one sales employee. That the manager admitted this on camera - that's just plain stupid. It'll be interesting to see what Apple's official take is.

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This bit isn't required, though

I was going to suggest what Apple's response (at least to El Reg) would be, but the forum software said "The post is required, and must contain letters".

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Re: This bit isn't required, though

Funny.

I had a quick look around and according to her:

"She called customer relations, received an apology, and bought the iPad online."

So Apple's sorted it out the way it should and is now left with a PR disaster caused by two imbeciles. Better than the response she would have received from Jobs - "you're speaking the words wrong".

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"and bought the iPad online"

Blimey - I might have accepted a free one as part of an apology, but I don't think I'd have been interested in carrying on with my purchase after that sort of treatment.

Racism? It just works.

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The key phrase here is "export". Refusing to sell to someone based on their country of origin, certainly under UK law, is very much illegal.

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Anonymous Coward

Ditto

Also illegal under Australian law, and probably all the relatively civilised countries.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ditto

Which is why it's perfectly okay in the USA.

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Anonymous Coward

But this was in the USA and the US Treasury enforces conditions like that for individuals - even those resident in the USA - if it's suspected the purchase may end up being exported to a Iran or Syria.

There's a lot of regulation concerning that see the page below for details:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/iran.aspx

For example a recent presidential order, signed by Mr Obama himself:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/fse_eo.pdf

I'm not saying that staff were correct, but not saying they were wrong either. I think only the US Treasury and OFAC will be able to provide an answer. Maybe Ms Leach could ask them?

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Unhappy

Last I read, it was illegal here in the US, too.

And I was just getting used to Atlanta maybe not being THAT bad a place to live, maybe even starting to become a bit level headed for a southern state. *sigh*

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Linux

Prima facie evidence

Is speaking a foreign language prima facie evidence of intent to export the device to a foreign country? If she had stood in the store and said "This will be great back in Tehran" then they might have had some justification for declining to sell under export restrictions but to do so merely as a result of using a foreign language is ridiculous.

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Devil

It's people like that in the Apple store that I despise.

Stupid. Ignorant. Dumb as all fuck.

Mind you, the whole US export prohibitions are a farce anyway...

Anyone could buy a suitcase full of them and just drive across the border.

It's even worse that these are the very countries that the American corporate cartels are exporting "Peace and Democracy to the middle east" - with weapons, CIA plants, political and social destabilisation, and installing armies of occupation in...

Then they say, "These countries are the (enemy) acting against US interests, by resisting being declared war on - for their oil.... and the toppling of their own popularly elected governments.

Moron shop staff and moronically evil sanctions.

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A new low

I didn't think Apple could successfully do anything to make me dislike them anymore than I already did.

I was wrong.

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Re: A new low

based on one incident by a redneck?, hum, you should get out more

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Re: A new low

Based on "one incident by a redneck" where it's actually two incidents in two separate stores, and involving at least three Apple employees.

If it really was just "one incident by a redneck" then that would suggest a stupid "Genius" - but that it's more than one incident in more than one store suggests the problem is higher up the chain. It might not be Apple's actual policy, but it's certainly a problem somewhere in Apple.

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WTF?

Re: A new low

Who says 'redneck'? The real gem of the story is in this line:

"The employee was from Iran, WSBTV said, which is why he was able to recognise the language as Farsi."

If you're from Iran you are only allowed to sell iPhone, not buy them...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A new low

That's just dumb. Almost makes me want to go out and buy one just to mail it there.

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Devil

American + Apple Store Employee.

The far end corner of the arrogance/ignorance/controlfreakery 3-D graph has been reached, captain.

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WTF?

Geo racial profiling?

Happened in Atlanta. Would it happen in say.. NY or Palo Alto Apple stores? Some retraining needed here.

Still totally unacceptable regardless of the location.

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Re: Geo racial profiling?

Atlanta is pretty cosmopolitan thus the students with international backgrounds living there.

Very weird making stores the gatekeepers though. That's what customs officials are for: person has electronic equipment with them? check boarding cards and massive database and follow instructions.

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FAIL

Simples...

easy to get around this policy: get WASP fanboi friend to buy your kit for you.

Oh wait, then they have to refuse to sell it to anyone, because anyone could potentially export it anywhere.

iStasi - there's an app for that.

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Re: Simples...

Simples - it's so last year.

Quoting catch phrases from adverts does not make you sound 'cool'.

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Big Brother

So...

Do Iranian Apple Employees still get the staff discount on Apple products?

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Anonymous Coward

The employee was from Iran...

How did that one slip past HR?

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Re: The employee was from Iran...

Yes I wondered about that too. So going by their own policy, I'm assuming they wouldn't allow their own employee to buy an Apple product?

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JDX
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Re: The employee was from Iran...

I was just going to ask how the employee knew they were speaking Iranian, guess this answers it.

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Re: The employee was from Iran...

they were speaking Farsi. pedantic, I know but it's a bit like saying someone conversing in Hebrew is speaking Jewish.

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Re: The employee was from Iran...

Surely a better analogy is saying someone conversing in Hebrew is speaking Israeli? Jewish is an ethnicity rather than a nationality. Iranians are mainly of Persian ethnicity (according to wiki).

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Gimp

Re: The employee was from Iran...

I'm sure the employee swore allegiance to the fruit, I mean the flag, before becoming an employee.

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Re: The employee was from Iran...

lol - you are quite right. nothing worse than a pedant who gets it wrong!

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a new low

This would be funny if it weren't so sad. It actually makes me want to visit america, just so I can buy some apple products, and then fly to iran to sell them.

Filming it for youtube of course.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: a new low

I hope someone does, that way these stupid export restrictions of the US of A would be shown to be a farce!

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Big Brother

Re: a new low

Not only the USA have export restrictions to a number of countries.

I don't know where you live, but try to ship a computer from there to Iran and see how that goes. Your local authorities will most probably become quite anal about it (literally as well) or have you move up a couple on pages on their watch list for quite some time (hence the Big Brother icon).

Don't forget that most of Iranian nuclear technology came from (illegal) exports from the Netherlands, while a lot of current tech leaders were trained in the USA (before 1979) and France ....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: a new low

"I don't know where you live, but try to ship a computer from there to Iran and see how that goes."

Not like the Iranians couldn't go shopping in Dubai or somewhere out that way where there is no export restriction though is it?

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Big Brother

Re: a new low

except then you'd be extridited and put on trial for providing them with something they could use for something....

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Sue them

She should sue Apple for racial abuse

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sue them

What baffles me is why after all that she BOUGHT ONE ANYWAY. Stuff that - buy from a competitor and sue for racial harassment with the money you saved.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sue them @ac 1045

Yes she still bought one because if you want iOS 5 you have to buy one. If you wanted a Samsung and they had said that to you, you could go buy an Asus or Motorola.

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Relies on honesty of customer.....

Sort of chump legislation which led to US mattresses bearing a label with words to the effect "It is illegal to remove this label".

Probably some pretty good reason to do with materials used, inflammability, or something.

But laughable out of context.

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FAIL

Read the report.

The young lady said "The iPad was to be a gift for her cousin who lives in Iran." So it was to be exported - contrary to current Administration thinking "A representative for the U.S. State Department told Viteri it is illegal to travel to Iran with laptops or satellite cellphones without U.S. authorization"

That's not to say one could be successfully exported via another country.........Doh!

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Ru

"Shabet says she lives in America and has no intention of exporting the device."

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