If country A would regard ‘the internet’ as a tool to spy and distribute propaganda, that same ‘internet’ would most definitely be seen as a threat by country B.
Iran is expected to block Google, YouTube and Gmail shortly.
“In recent days, all governmental agencies and offices … have been connected to the national information network,” deputy communications and technology minister Ali Hakim-Javadi was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.
The second phase of the plan would be to connect ordinary Iranians to the national network, he said.
According to Iranian media, the domestic system would be fully implemented by March 2013 but it was not clear whether access to the global Internet would be cut once the Iranian system is rolled out.
Even using VPNs, many Iranians suffered serious problems accessing email and social networking sites in February, ahead of parliamentary elections.
Communications and Technology Minister Reza Taqipour said last month Iran needed to develop its own network to ensure the safety of the country’s information.
“Control over the Internet should not be in the hands of one or two countries,” he said. “Especially on major issues and during crises, one cannot trust this network at all.”
US officials have condemned the idea – but Washington is in a bit of a fix, being partly responsible for Iran’s cyber paranoia. “The problem for the state department is that Iran is doing this because of attacks instigated primarily by Washington under its so-called Olympic Games programme. The US and Israel have embraced cyber-espionage with an eagerness that is being emulated by countries around the globe.”