Iran Plans Closed Intranet to Stifle Social Networking and Email

Iran announced Thursday that they will be setting up a national Intranet and blocking sites like Google Plus, Yahoo, Google and Hotmail to establish a “clean internet”.  Whether the goal is cleanliness or suppression is debatable, but this does mean that many of these American services will be replaces with government services like Iran Mail and Iran Search Engine.

This comes months after Twitter was used as a main vehicle for the “Day of Rage” protests against the government.  The aftermath has had several protests occur on other social sites like YouTube, where a jailed man was able to get his message out.  The Iranian government attempted in vain to stomp out Twitter and other services, but wasn’t able to stem the flow of protest messages.  American companies such as Twitter and Google refused to play any part in censoring their users, citing the American value of free speech.

According to the ibtimes, Mehdi Jafari, the head of technology and intelligence of the Iranian militia, stated that the blogosphere was one of the most “effective elements of soft war” and helped other powers push their agenda in Iran — a refrain we hear often from officials in Iran who decry the protestors.

This path has a steep slope.  If Iranians are not able to overturn such a radical system of controlled information, it will severely limit their ability to communicate with one another.  North Korea is a country that strictly regulates information among its citizens and this helps them maintain an iron grip on their power base.

Image: paparamzzi (Ramzi Hachicho) via Shutterstock