Iran (or more accurately the Iranian government) wants to create and control its own Internet separate from the World Wide Web most of the rest of the world enjoys. Which is nice.
The plans are detailed in a Wall Street Journal article, which suggests the Iranian authorities want to go a lot further than they already have in censoring what its citizens can view on the Internet.
The direct genesis for this latest move appears to be the pro-democracy protests fueled by the Web and campaigns on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The bigger picture indicts a “soft war” in which “Western ideas, culture and influence” are all reaching the country and its people by way of the Internet.
It’s thought that 60 percent of Iranian homes and businesses will soon be on the internal Internet soon, with the entire country coming online within two years.
This isn’t actually a new idea. Far from it. Other countries have established similar systems and attempting to block its residents from accessing parts of the Web. The concept of a closed Internet just for Iran first emerged in 2005 soon after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power. In 2008 $1 billion was pledged to continue building the infrastructure to make this dream become a reality.
This is all to benefit Iran and ordinary Iranians, obviously, with Abdolmajid Riazi, deputy director of communication technology in the ministry of telecommunications at the time this fund was established saying, “The national Internet will not limit access for users. It will instead empower Iran and protect its society from cultural invasion and threats.”
So it has nothing to do with censorship and government control then, obviously. Just like China’s Great Firewall is all for the benefit of its people. You know, to protect them. I’m glad we cleared up any confusion on that score.