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Iran swapping internet for intranet in August (update)

Darren Murph
04.10.12
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There's dealing with internet comments, and then there's this. According to a statement from Reza Taghipour, the Iranian minister for Information and Communications Technology, Iran will be shutting off access to the world wide in around five months, as it flips the switch on a nationwide "intranet" that'll act like one of the more strict corporate firewalls you may have come in contact with. The reason? It's looking to provide its citizens access to "a clean internet," which is loosely translated into "an internet sans freedom." Instead of providing access to Google, Gmail and Hotmail, users will have to register for an Iran Mail ID -- which "mandates authentic information pertaining to a person's identity, including national ID, address and full name." Evidently, it's all to prevent access to the internet that exists today -- one that "promotes crime, disunity, unhealthy moral content, and atheism" in Taghipour's mind. Crazily enough, he's right about all of that, but it's a small price to pay for access to things like this, no?

Update: Turns out, the original report here was a bit -- shall we say -- sensationalized. According to a breaking update from AFP, Iran has "denied online reports that it plans to cut access to the internet in August and replace it with a national intranet." In truth, Iran does have a plan to implement a "national information network," which is being billed as a "totally closed system that would function like a sort of intranet for the Islamic republic." To date, there's no clarity on whether the aforesaid network will exist alongside the internet or in place of it.

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