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Iran began testing the national Internet

The Iranian authorities began testing their Internet. If necessary, it will be easier to isolate users from the global Internet, experts say. Today there are 5,000,000 URLs locked.

Iran has entered the testing the Internet national project, also known as "Halal Internet"." It was reported by the Tehran authorities. The first step, according to the minister of information and communication technologies Iran Reza Tagipur, began on September 21 in 29 of 31 provinces. All government agencies connected to the state inner computer network without connection to the global Internet. By March 2013, the second step of the project, a "national Internet" that is supposed to be available to all Iranian universities, as well as to ordinary citizens, writes

Whether the plan is possible
The Iranian Government has stressed that "national Internet" must co-exist with the global Internet, but the transfer of data within the national network will be faster and more reliable. The Tehran authorities deny the intention to isolate the Iranian Internet users from the rest of the world, in which many foreign observers suspect the Iranian government. "Isolation of the world's Internet will impose sanctions on Iran for themselves. It would be illogical," - said former Minister Mohammad Soleimani in an interview with the Iranian student news agency ISNA.

"I do not think that the Iranian government has necessary resources to implement such a complex project as a long-term and complete isolation of the Internet and turn it into an intranet," - said user Ali in the interview with DW Tehran Internet. Because of strict sanctions adopted by the international community against Iran, Tehran will be difficult to acquire appropriate software, said Ali. At the same time, he acknowledged that the Iranian leadership is concerned about the plans.

In turn, a London Iranian online activist Amin Sabet said: «Iran’s national Internet does not have the exact data. I do not believe in the fact that the Iranian government has the necessary infrastructure to create a national Internet or in the ability to close the World Wide Web access for users of this country. «However, the State is fully capable of quickly interring  in the work of the Internet and disabling certain pages, as happened with the services of YouTube and Gmail American company Google, Sabet said.

Following the model of China and Myanmar

In July 2012 the Iranian minister of information and communication technologies Tagipur Reza said that "for the 95% of the use of the Internet in Iran the international access is not required."

Representatives of the Tehran government insist that "Halal Internet" is the best way to "protect the religious and national values" of the country. However, experts are still critical about Iranian project "National Internet".

Member of the organization "Reporters without Borders" Reza Moeini believes that the Iranian project is not the same as Chinese "Golden Shield" (known as the "Great Chinese firewall"), which for today is considered to be the most developed system of state Internet censorship. There's a military dictatorship responded to her unwanted information by disabling the Web or decrease the speed of Internet connection. "According to Iranian authorities the main purpose is to leave access to the global Internet only for industry and the banking sector, and close it for normal users," - says Moeini.

One of the reasons that Tehran wants to turn off the computer from the state of the global Internet is quite understandable: the fear of cyber-attacks. Thus, in May 2012, a large number of office and business computers were affected by the virus Iran Flame - according to experts, the most dangerous in the world at the moment. Earlier Iranian computers attacked another virus - Stuxnet.

E-mail as a risk factor
After the "National Internet" started in government appeared the first information about what it is like. "This is an intranet, which is much faster than normal Internet, but without the access to e-mail and those foreign sites that are allowed by the Government," - told DW young Iranian Negara.

According to experts Iran blocked about five million Web addresses, including such well-known as Facebook. However, many users circumvent the ban by using proxy servers and network access VPN. This way you can check your mail and, for example, Gmail. But these people have  a "great risk" because there is evidence that some of the sites that offer services VPN, connected with the Iranian intelligence services.

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