Arseh Sevom — Claims that Iran will launch a “national internet” at the end of August, cutting off access to Google, Hotmail, and other external services, were denied by communications minister Reza Taghipour. He issued a statement denying plans to cut access to the internet calling the whole thing a “13th of Farvardin prank” [the [...]
Butcher of the Press leaves…Not! Regular readers of Arseh Sevom’s weekly review won’t be surprised to find that former Tehran prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, is topping headlines once again. This time with rumors of his resignation after a contested promotion to director of the biggest financial holding organization in Iran, Social Security Organization [Sazman-e Tamin-e Ejtema’ie]. [...]
Arseh Sevom — Reports from the Islamic Republic of Iran about internet speeds, work to create a parallel cyber Iran, and the growing success of filtering systems paint a picture of desperate efforts to exert control over the population. Iran is not alone in its efforts. North Korea has their own “intranet” called Kwang Myong (“light” or “hope, fair, just, open”). The North Korean version duplicates external content it deems acceptable. Iran’s new closed intranet is expected to do the same, in a cyber version of what the state already does in traditional media by cherry-picking content from international sources and editing or translating it in ways that often distort the original meaning.
The Wall Street Journal and other sources are reporting on the government of Iran’s plans to create its own internet. The regime already controls the speed of its internet, keeping it artificially low. Since 2005, they have also been planning to create a closed internet, a la China and other repressive governments, with content controlled by various ministries and with separate e-commerce access.
Current head of economic affairs in Iran, Ali Aghamohammadi says:“We can describe it as a genuinely ‘halal’ network aimed at Muslims on a ethical and moral level.”
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