By: Kyle James | 12-21-2018 | News
Photo credit: Slack/Goldwater Mockup

Slack "Bans Users" Who Have Visited Countries Under U.S. Sanction

With the latest report that Facebook shared access to users' private messages with multiple companies, trust and privacy are becoming a thing of the past. You never know, whether you are on Twitter or some other platform like YouTube, you may be doxed, banned, or even have your entire history of metadata sold down the river to the highest bidder by these companies.

Now, the popular messaging system that is known as Slack, or "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge", has apparently begun banning those users who have visited countries under sanctions from the U.S. At first, users wondered why they were suddenly banned from using the cloud-based messaging app. Then, Slack announced it has begun banning users who have traveled to certain countries like Iran and North Korea in order to be in compliance with U.S. regulations.

The Biggest Complaint

So far, most users seem to be angry with the fact they received no warning in advance of the ban and had otherwise been complying with Slack's terms of service agreement. Some users even reported that although they had visited a U.S. sanctioned country, it was many years ago and still believe their bans were an error on the part of Slack.

Other countries that have seen visitors' Slack accounts banned include Cuba, Syria, and Crimea, as well as areas where Slack says its systems can't be used. The messaging service is home to 8 million businesses who rely on the network to communicate including companies like Airbnb and Ticketmaster.


Hacker News website reported that one user complained about his wife's sudden ban because she had lost access to years of work data ranging from messages to files.

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The user from the Hacker News report also said his wife had been flagged for traveling, "legally" to Cuba "years ago" and has been told there is no recourse for her and no way of appealing the sudden ban. Another user who is a Ph.D. student in Canada, Tweeted that he believed he was included in the ban because of his Iranian ethnicity alone.

The ban has been widely Tweeted about under the hashtag #SlackBan and some people have questioned whether the move actually goes beyond the scope of the U.S. sanctions which punishes companies who violate them. Slack offered an official statement through the website Mashable saying they "prohibit unauthorized Slack use in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and the Crimea region of Ukraine".

Related coverage: NC - Facebook Bans A Mother of 5 Simply for Posting A Breastfeeding Photo

The Slack statement also said that its systems "may have detected an account and/or a workspace owner on our platform with an IP address originating from a designated embargoed country" but that it will "review further" any cases where the ban may have been an error.

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3 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 93036 2018-12-21 : 13:14

While the Internet community is Semi-International. Where the ISP & Site companies are located, fall under that Nations Laws.

Think of the far reaching ramifications that would otherwise be allowed in the USA, if such a law was not enforced by the Nation of the viewer, verses the origination point.

No legal minimum age for marriage under Sharia law. Nine (9) is acceptable under Hanafi and Jafari control.

The Manu Smriti states that a 30 year old man can marry a 12 year old maiden (virgin woman) or a 24 year old man can to marry an 8 year old girl (child).

In Anushasana Prava of the Mahabharata, Bhishma states, a 30 year old male can marry a 10 year old girl or a 21 year old male can marry a 7 year old girl.

Anonymous No. 93037 2018-12-21 : 13:27

I agree with SLACK and support them in following USA imposed and enforced rules instead of allowing and supporting users doing illegal things in countries with harmful unacceptable standards.

BTW: the lowest age of Sexual Consent in the world goes to Nigeria which officially allows at age 11 girls to engage in sex with any age Male.

2nd runner up is 2 split. With the Philippines and Angola allowing age 12.

3rd place goes to Burkina Faso, Comoros, Niger, and Japan. Where the age of sexual consent 13.

In Japan the 13 year old age is not helping their population decline either.

Anonymous No. 93040 2018-12-21 : 14:46

Age of consent in most places in the Philippines (outside of remote provinces) is 18. The confusion arises because there are 3 laws operating. To clarify, Republic Act 8353 (Anti-Rape Law) says in Section 2 that sexual act without intimidation or abuse is not considered rape if the woman is 12 years old and above. Technically, that’s consent. However, women’s rights advocate Atty. Claire Padilla explained that, if parties want to prove that there was money or coercion involved in sex with those 12-17 years old, they can pursue a case under Republic Act 7610 or the Law Against Child Abuse. If a male who is 12-15 years old who consensually have sex is not liable under RA 7610, then there is RA 10630 or the amended Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, which can make males 15 years and one day to 17 years old liable for rape.

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