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Is Iran Trying to Launch Its Own Internet?

"Iran has fears of an outside cyber-attack..."

In addition to several measures to censor or monitor its citizens on the Internet, the Iranian government may be attempting to launch its own national Internet network, according to The Guardian.

The Guardian notes that local news sources have been reporting sluggish Internet speeds in the country. One newspaper, the Roozegar -- which The Guardian calls a "reformist newspaper" -- believes this is because the country is conducting tests for a national Internet.

The Guardian goes on to report an inside IT source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, as clarifying the project to be like a corporate Intranet:

"Despite what others think, Intranet is not primarily aimed at curbing the global Internet but Iran is creating it to secure its own military, banking and sensitive data from the outside world.

"Iran has fears of an outside cyber-attack like that of the Stuxnet, and is trying to protect its sensitive data from being accessible on the world wide web."

But Roozegar, The Guardian notes, cites other fears over a national Internet:

"If the national Internet comes into effect, the Internet in the country will act like an internal network and therefore visiting the websites needs permission from the people in charge. Users outside Iran also need permission to visit websites running from inside the country," Roozegar's report said.

In addition to potentially removing itself from a global Internet network and setting up its own Internet, The Guardian reports that stricter rules are being implemented in Internet cafes. According to police reports more information -- forename, surname, name of the father, national identification number, postcode and telephone number of each customer -- are needed before the service is provided. The Guardian reports that in April, Ali Agha-Mohammadi announced plans for a "halal Internet", which would "conform to Islamic values."

[H/T Gizmodo]

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