Board member Fred Petrossians, writing for Global Voices discusses rumors and plans for total control of the internet by the Iranian state:

Iranian authorities see the internet as a real battleground and consider citizen media and social networking as tools of “soft war”. Over several years they claim to have blocked and filtered millions of websites and blogs. Now several bloggers have reported that Iran’s Corporate Computer Systems say the goal is for Iran to be entirely cut off from the World Wide Web once the country launches its own national internet network.

(More here…)

A report in The Guardian adds:

“According to some of the people in charge of the communication industry, attempts to launch a national internet network are the cause of disruption in internet and its speed reduction in recent weeks,” Roozegar reported. Some government websites, however, cited other reasons for the drop in speed.Speaking to the Guardian on condition of anonymity, an Iranian IT expert with close knowledge of Iran’s national internet project, which he described as corporate-style intranet, said: “Despite what others think, intranet is not primarily aimed at curbing the global internet but Iran is creating it to secure its own military, banking and sensitive data from the outside world.

“Iran has fears of an outside cyber attack like that of the Stuxnet, and is trying to protect its sensitive data from being accessible on the world wide web.” Stuxnet, a computer worm designed to sabotage Iran’s uranium enrichment project hit the country’s nuclear facilities in 2010.