Iran intends to disconnect from the World Wide Web by establishing its own internally operated web, The Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the article, Iran is planning to create its own state-run internet service within two years. The story indicates Iranian authorities plan to go much further than they already have in censoring their citizens’ web access.
The project appears to have gained momentum following the internet-fueled protests against Iran’s presidential election results in 2009. Iranian authorities are also responding to the recent pro-democracy protests in Arab countries, which are also fueled by campaigns on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Iran’s telecommunications chief said 60 percent of homes and businesses will soon have access to the new state-owned internet, and all Iranians will join them within two years.
In 2008, the Ahmadinejad administration pledged $1 billion to build a closed internet just for Iran. Abdolmajid Riazi, the deputy director of communications technology in the Ministry of Telecommunications said at the time: “The national internet will not limit access for users. It will instead empower Iran and protect its society from cultural invasion and threats.”
In March, Iran’s minister of communications and information technology said initial steps have been taken toward creating what the establishment calls a “clean internet.”