The Islamic Republic of Iran announced the creation of a nationwide intranet to supplant the majority of the functions of the internet so that citizens of Iran can enjoy a web free of un-Islamic activity and materials.
Currently Iran labors under some of the toughest international sanctions that can be levied against a country because of its nuclear program. In an effort to keep control over the information within its country, Iran has blocked access to Google and Gmail, two tools essential to Iranian businessmen conducting international trade. The announcement came via text message from Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, an advisor to Iran’s public prosecutor’s office. As of this report, Gmail and Google can still be accessed via VPN or virtual private network.
YouTube, the center of the firestorm that has raged across Muslim communities throughout the world because of its hosting of the controversial amateur video Innocence of Muslims, was censored in 2009 in addition to Facebook and Twitter. Mohammad Soleimani, a politician in charge of a parliamentary communications committee, vowed that the creation of national intranet would not obviate the internet: “Cutting access to the internet is not possible at all, because it would amount to imposing sanctions on ourselves, which would not be logical. However, the filtering will remain in place.”