Remember when Iran expressed its intention of setting up a national Internet disconnected from the World Wide Web in order to keep its citizens safe from Western ideas and culture?
Well, it seems that the project will start with moving its ministries and state bodies off the Internet.
The step was announced by Iran’s telecommunications minister Reza Taghipour at a conference recently held at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University, and is considered to be a direct consequence of the Stuxnet and Flame malware attacks that were obviously directed at targets within the country.
The Iranian government believes the Internet to be controlled by “one or two” countries hostile to Iran – we can only surmise they mean the US and Israel – and that it is consequently a bad idea to keep its sensitive intelligence accessible through it.
The Telegraph reports that this move is the first step to the aforementioned plan to set up a domestic intranet in parallel with the Internet, and the whole project is scheduled to be finalized within 18 months.
The question now is whether this plan can be executed and this intranet effective enough to be a adequate replacement for the World Wide Web.
Iranian cyber-security specialist Nima Rashedan has his doubts, and says that in terms of cyber security, Iran is one of the most backward countries he knows.
“Because of the disfunctionality of the government, I don’t think they will be able to implement it properly,” he says.
It might be also a bad idea from an economic point of view, since Iran needs the “regular” Internet to do business with countries that don’t enforce an economic embargo on it.