Censoring Begins At Home: Iran Announces Plans To Build Its Own Internet, Operating System

from the Anonymous-says-O-RLY? dept

Iran's government has decided to push past regular villainy and head straight for cartoonish super-villainy with its plan to build its own internet. Being one of the "most sophisticated nations in online censoring" just isn't enough these days, what with every "civilized" nation pushing its own brand of censorship. It looks as if Iran has decided that if the internet is too difficult to regulate, it may be easier to start from the ground floor.

Iran is promoting its national internet as a "cost-saving measure for consumers and a way to uphold Islamic moral codes." This will operate in parallel with the existing internet before making the switch to IOL or whatever this new censornet will be called. The roll-out is going quickly, with 60% of Iran's homes and businesses migrating "soon," with the entire country due to be completely severed from the rest of the world "within two years."

The Iranian government is also looking to install a new basement (if we follow the "new internet = "ground floor" analogy -- and I guess we will). It intends to roll out its own operating system to replace Windows within the coming months. Ali Aghamohammadi, the Iranian Head of Economic Affairs, has expressed his confidence that the government-approved internet and operating system will also be deployed by other Muslim countries.

This bit of dismaying news had no sooner graced the pages of the un-Iranian internet when information surfaced that Anonymous had hacked the Iranian government's computers. The "group" succeeded in harvesting 10,000 email messages from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs containing "approvals and rejections for a variety of visas and passports, among other requests, and correspondence."

In addition, Anonymous is planning a day-long DDoS attack to commemorate the anniversary of the 2009 elections, which saw Ahmadinejad doing everything from shutting down Facebook access to ordering the torching of an opponent's campaign office.

Whether these actions will hasten or delay the implementation of the Iran-only internet remains to be seen. Iran has only stated that it will be rolled out "soon," wording, which is vague enough that either side can claim it acheived its goals. As more anti-government activity flares up in nearby regions, usually accompanied by a shutdown of communication services, it would surprise exactly no one if other like-minded countries begin to view Iran as their ISP of choice.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 2:05am

    Wow...

    ...just wow
    /facepalm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Yogi, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:00am

    Bored?

    Does this mean that they've become bored with stoning women and homosexuals and that they are now moving on to more advanced forms of entertainment?

    Probably they'll just use their private Iranternet to upload videos of the Muslim faithful stoning women and homosexuals to IranTube.

    Whatever

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:01am

    You know, if Iran wants to return to the Dark Ages and stay there, I say we let them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Robert, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:06am

    I see Iran is the first country to heed the call of Sarkozy to creat a "civilized" internet. Sadly, this proved to be incompatible with the French civilized internet and they had to go and create their own.

    Well, it's a small price for a proper internet that works as it should, not being able to discuss or speak about the misdeeds of the government.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:13am

    You know, the way things are heading, we'll probably start seeing more countries heading down this road. And not just in third-world I-hate-freedom countries, but also in some "developed" countries too.

    Warrant-less domain takedowns are just the beginning.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:19am

    Before the Internet

    You know, before the Internet as we know existed, there were several separate national networks. So they building a separate national network is not exactly a new idea.

    And the Internet was originally designed as a way to bridge several disparate networks (thus the name Internet). That it ended up replacing them is a tribute to how well it works.

    So, if Iran creates a new national network, it will end up being interconnected to the Internet via gateways, exactly like happened in the past.

     

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  7.  
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    Nom du Clavier (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:23am

    Not the Prince of Persia I'd hoped for, this Ahmedinejad

    At one time they used to have the start of the art in science there. It looks like they've given the orders to restore that state of the art, and someone misunderstood this to mean heading back to the age where windmills were considered novel.

     

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  8.  
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    Nom du Clavier (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:25am

    Re: Not the Prince of Persia I'd hoped for, this Ahmedinejad

    state of the art, at that.

     

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  9.  
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    Andrew (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:37am

    Ali Aghamohammadi, the Iranian Head of Economic Affairs, has expressed his confidence that the government-approved internet and operating system will also be deployed by other Muslim countries.

    Yeah, because every other country in the Middle East trusts Iran implicitly.

    While this appears to be more of a rebranding exercise than anything (it's apparently based on Linux), it's probably a good time, in advance of the inevitable hack attacks that will follow, to remember Schneier's Law

    Any person can invent a security system so clever that he or she can't imagine a way of breaking it.

     

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  10.  
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    mike allen (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 3:41am

    How many more countries I await David Cameron announcing GB net next. Followed by Obama with the US net ohh that's what we all use .

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Known Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:05am

    Re Censorship Begins at Home

    A Very Large nation in Asia are past masters at censoring the net without inventing a new one. Maybe that's why nothing has been leaked to Selective Leaks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:07am

    Re: Before the Internet

    I wonder who has the patent on "county/area based internet"?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:14am

    4 year-old in close proximity to water declares sovereignty after building sand castle.

     

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  14.  
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    herbert, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:31am

    i think this sort of thing was inevitable, given the restrictions that the entertainment industries and various governments are implementing, along with shutdowns of domains and so-called 'infringing' web sites. trouble is, it allows for greater restrictions to be put into place as well. doubt if it will be long before there are individual 'country nets and O/Ss' springing up all over the place. all because certain industries and certain countries have been and still are trying to censor the internet, whilst condemning countries that already do that. it has been said many times that once the Internet becomes controlled, it will be broken. not far away now, then everyone will suffer!

     

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  15.  
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    abc gum, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:32am

    Now everyone is going to want their own internet

    ... what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got ... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday (Tuesday). Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on

     

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  16.  
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    Di Fiasco (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:47am

    lol - I can see it now:

    "...iAllah Search Results for 'Women's Parental Rights'

    Result 1: Infidel! You should not look at such things!
    Result 2: Infidel! You should not look at such things!
    Result 2: Infidel! You should not look at such things!

    Search Suspended. Your activities have been logged. Please remain stationary while a consultant is arranged to visit with you..."

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Harry, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:58am

    Finally a TECH story

    I was beginning to think this website changed its name to copyright and trademarkdirt.com Im just happy to actually see a tech article

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:06am

    Re: Finally a TECH story

    what's so wrong with the copyright and trademark stories? They affect technology in various ways so are perfect for a site called techdirt to report on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Re:

    I agree to some extent - but I think you underestimate the ability of the techies to route around this nonsense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Del Boy, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:11am

    Internet

    When censorship bites chunks out of the internet it ceases to be the internet & becomes a restrictive intranet. What next censored local area networks. As the internet got larger the world got smaller ... now it seems the internet is on a return journey, big assed world again.

     

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  21.  
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    Viln (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    I have faith that Iran will actually try to go through with this. Of course, whatever IOS' and hardware they choose to use will be either be duplicates or knock-offs of existing products. Not only will this potentially insulate their economy, it will make their gateways the new favorite target of people who have already thoroughly hacked the second-generation gear they'll be using. Of course, taking away the internet might just be enough to turn peaceful protests into an armed insurrection.

    I highly doubt any of the surrounding nations in that region will be using Iran as an ISP any time soon, even the terrifyingly ignorant ones. But if they're successful in securing Iranternet and keeping the unwanted out and hiding their dirty laundry, Sony might be throwing a few security contracts their way.

     

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  22.  
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    pbarker (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:57am

    BSoD

    This will give a whole new meaning to the BSoD, or "Blue Screen of Death"....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    pbarker (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 6:06am

    Al Gore

    Also -
    Isn't Al Gore gonna be pissed?
    Al did invent the whole interweb thingy in the first place...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnFJ8cHAlco

    On second thought - he might like having his name on all of it:

    Al-Browser
    Al-Office
    Al-OS

    ;)

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re: Finally a TECH story

    Actually, the trademark and copyright articles are the "dirt" part of techdirt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    You know...

    This may not be such a bad idea in theory. Let's have an Islamic internet, a Christian internet, a legacy business internet, and the rest of us can have the original internet back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: You know...

    Can I be on your interwebs if I promise not to mention that I'm Christian? A 'Christian Approved' site list sounds dreadfully boring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    Re: Finally a TECH story

    This article is consistent with the censorship imposed by bogus copyright and trademark misuse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Special interests will be forcing this all over the world. Thanks to the legacy companies we're going to start seeing different versions of the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    LegitTroll (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Before the Internet

    At&t of course.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Hilarious and inevitable

    I think this is both hilarious and inevitable. As all countries have unique laws, so should all regional Internet. This is not some fantasy New World Order where all abide by the same legal code. Iran will do what suits Iran. Same as all other countries. Each will carve out its own space online, and they will mostly be distinct.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Finally a TECH story

    Irony personified.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 9:27am

    Re: Hilarious and inevitable

    And what happens when they intersect? Do they just go into an endless handshaking until one gives up? OR so they send the IP around to 'confiscate' your illegal use of tech, then guillotine you on the A-Train that is Old Sparky.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    aldestrawk (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Re: Now everyone is going to want their own internet

    LOL, tubular!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    tuscolablue (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Cool

    Here with Microsoft, we get the blue screen of death. With Iran's new OS, you just get death.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Iran will probably also have their own version of a three-strikes law;

    http://theamericano.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/An-Iranian-woman-at-a-pro-006.jpg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re:

    Then, why don't we simply create the RIAA.net now and tell the RIAA that it is the only place where you are guaranteed that you CAN'T get ANY content, not from the artists nor otherwise.

    Then, we tell them, EVERYONE has been forced to use the new network. They will see no music or other content being shared on their RIAA.net and the piracy problem will be solved!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    Iran will be the training grounds for hackers worldwide. Sounds like a lush playground at that...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    aldestrawk (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Hey Iran, hire me!

    Iran, hire me as a consultant and I will give you the full details of how to have this up and running quickly. Here's the overview on my proposal: Use Novell's IPX protocol stack instead of TCP/IP. Any patents have probably expired by now and although core routers still handle and route IPX packets, most hosts do not handle this stack anymore. Additionally, we can change a couple of key fields in the headers to make it incompatible with the existing IPX protocol stack in such a way that makes it a huge pain in the ass to do protocol conversion. You would have to know these IPX packets were coming from Iran to handle conversion to regular IPX or the TCP/IP stack. Large scale gateways would be impossible without Iran's cooperation and this scheme would make small scale gateways much more difficult.
    As your consultant I would have to point out a couple of caveats. You will never be able to drop the parallel network plan. A TCP/IP network connected to the rest of the world will always be needed for business, scientific research, and for your government to keep tabs on world news, foreign governments, and ex-pat dissidents. Finally, I must advise you that separating your network from the internet may spark a backlash among the general populace which will end up countering the effect you desire. You cannot erase the knowledge of the existence of the internet. Although your government clearly understands the dangers of unfiltered information to it's people and itself, you cannot suppress the inherent curiosity that exists in all cultures.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Re:

    LOL!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 7th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    Re:

    "You know, if Iran wants to return to the Dark Ages and stay there, I say we let them."

    Its more about monitoring what people do online, and controlling communications. Which is great for the US, 1 day, 1 packet sniffer, and total control over the Iraninan internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    aikiwolfie (profile), Jun 7th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    "The Iranian government is also looking to install a new basement (if we follow the "new internet = "ground floor" analogy -- and I guess we will). It intends to roll out its own operating system to replace Windows within the coming months. Ali Aghamohammadi, the Iranian Head of Economic Affairs, has expressed his confidence that the government-approved internet and operating system will also be deployed by other Muslim countries."

    Personally I'm amazed no one has done this before. If it succeeds it won't just be Muslim countries following suit. China will be close behind, followed swiftly by France. Except France will ban all non-Microsoft OSs or invent a special tax for them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Mohammed Najdi, May 20th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    God bless iran

    I really wonder how a country that most of the world are against it and fighting it is still capable to evolve and become stronger and stronger!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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