The Iranian government is deeply scared of the Internet, and not just because the Iranian music industry claims piracy is ruining its profits. Iranians use the Internet to get in touch with the real world, something that deeply troubles the crazy people running the Iranian state, because people who actually know what’s going on tend to start demanding things like elections and freedoms and to not be ruled by crazy people. There’s also the fact that Iran is likely the first nation to ever be specifically targeted by cyberwarfare.
So Iran wants to build basically a walled garden, complete with its own crappy version of Google:
In addition to developing its own Intranet system, Reporters Without Borders says that the Iranian government is also creating its own custom electronic mail service and a national search engine called Ya Haq (Oh Just One) that is intended to replace Google. In order to obtain an account on the state-approved mail service, users will have to register their identity with the government.
As Reporters Without Borders points out, this is actually largely a pipe dream. To actually implement this system would be possible, but costly, and this is a nation under severe economic sanctions. More to the point, there are people heavily invested in giving Iranians access to the Internet, and it’s not like Iranians themselves are that shabby about setting up darknets, disguising traffic, and otherwise messing with their government.
But we do kind of want to see what crazy the Iranian government’s version of a “clean” Internet looks like. We’re imagining something between a crappy newsletter and AOL.
(Image via Indigo Prime on Flickr)