Iran at it again, trying to box in the Web with its domestic network
The Internet is used for various tasks and its longevity comes from the careful view that diversity, rather than an overlord with pruning shears, should be the sole life-force. The social experiment has been going strong for sometime now, but things may change for Iranians soon: an officials statement by a man known only as Khoramabadi, has said Google and Gmail will be blocked until further notice (read:probably forever)
The country has a notably large presence in the realm of Internet censorship, and its Internet filter, matches it perfectly. Some 20 million Iranians have access to the Web, but many access it through something called VPN’s (virtual private network). To “remedy” this problem, the administration, past and present, have talked about creating and implementing a domestic version of the Internet. Undoubtedly, the Iranian government has different standards when it comes to free speech; the riots over the latest anti-Muslim film and especially, anti-government propaganda will be blocked.
Deputy communications and technology minister Ali Hakim-Javadi quipped recently, “In recent days, all governmental agencies and offices … have been connected to the national information network […]the second phase of the plan would be to connect ordinary Iranians to the national network.” Here’s the kicker though: nobody knows whether or not if the global Internet would be entirely blocked once the network is fully implemented as of the tentative date of March 2013.
If Arab Spring showed anything about the dynamics of the Muslim world , it was the power to keep such a government accountable with social media and mobile phones. This is the clearly the latest Dark Ages backlash against the citizenry armed with 21st Century gadgetry.
Should Iran halt its creation of a private network for Iranians only, or should they be allowed to rule a global resource as a sovereign nation? Sound off in the comments below!