Having to use the Internet that everybody in the world uses, poses a big problem especially when you want to censor most of the stuff. It makes better sense if you have your own, internal Internet and this is what Iran intends to do. This way the government will be able to better monitor what’s going on and what sort of information people are exchanging with each other and what sort of information they are getting from the outside world. Whatever is the reason, Iran has been quietly working on creating its own national Internet or intranet since 2005 and ambitious project is about to be completed.
According to President Hassan Rouhani the national internet is “reliable, stable and safe”, and it can be easily “regarded as one of the key components of the country’s independence”.
You have doubts about Iran’s internal Internet? It is expected to be over 60 times faster than the current Internet infrastructure that mostly relies on international Internet. A vast network of fibre-optic cables and locally-based data centres is going to power Iran’s internal Internet.
Iran has a legitimate reason to be wary of the International Internet network. In 2010 a number of its nuclear centrifuges were destroyed using the Internet. Having its own internal Internet will give the government more control over external threats.
But cyber security of its nuclear installations is just one aspect. Having a tight grip over the country these days also means having a tight grip on the web. With its own internal Internet in place whether it is slow or fast, will enable the Iran government to censor and surveil its citizens.