North Korea has carried out a nuclear test
Source: UK's Channel 4 News Service Snowmail, Monday, 25 May 2009.
See 25 May 2009 BBC News report Outrage over N Korea nuclear test and comments at Have Your Say
Reports are surfacing online confirming that Microsoft has removed access to its Windows Live MSN services for residents in several embargoed countries, the full list of those effected includes Syria, Cuba, Iran and North Korea.
If, say, you’ve woken up in Cuba this morning and gone to log into your MSN account you would have seen this little error message pop-up, “Error 810003c1”, which, buried in Microsoft’s terms means “Microsoft has shut off the Windows Live Messenger IM for users in the countries embargoed by the US hence Microsoft no longer offers Windows Live Service in your country”.
The reasoning or logic behind which countries get denied access and which get allowed is undisclosed but could be considered more than a little confusing as other countries with sanctions against them remain unhindered in accessing the services.
The reason behind the timing of the decision is also unclear, but one thing is for sure, a simple IP-based blocking system won’t keep MSN users in those countries off of the service for very long.