Insane, unworkable and signs of autocrats who fear freedom of expression and their own citizens:
Communication and information technology minister Reza Taqipour Anvari announced at the start of July that the first phase of a “National Internet,” also called “Clean Internet,” will get under way at the end of August, offering an 8 Mbps speed broadband connection that will later rise to 20 Mbps and a national search engine called “Ya Haq” (Oh Just One) to be launched in early 2012. The project’s aim is to “better manage national emails and information gathering within the country and to improve security,” he said. Surveillance of dissidents’ email will inevitably increase.
Online social networks are used in Iran to resist government repression and circulate independent news and information, despite the severity of the censorship system. This new project will reinforce censorship and surveillance of netizens. It consists of an Intranet designed ultimately to replace the international Internet and to discriminate between ordinary citizens and the “elite” (banks, ministries and big companies), which will continue to have access to the international Internet.
The new project does not seem very advisable from the economic viewpoint as this technological step backwards could dissuade certain countries from investing in Iran. It shows that the regime wants to impose total censorship on all sectors involved in disseminated information.