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Iran Denies Plan To Switch Off Internet

Yesterday, we ran a story on Iran's latest alleged scheme to censor the web, which is a far reaching concept for even a draconian regime.

The purported plan is to essentially turn off the internet, and replace it with a "clean" intranet system, much as a corporation might do, allowing only access to approved content which it deems suitable.

Reza Taghipour, the Iranian minister for Information and Communications Technology, was quoted as stating: "All Internet Service Providers (ISP) should only present National Internet by August."

After seeing the story widely reported, Iranian authorities have now denied that the government plans to block all content from the world external to the country - and insisted that the above statement was not from official sources.

The idea of a complete blockade on external web content is apparently drawn from an April fools' hoax which was picked up late by some sources. However, at the same time, officials haven't denied plans for a "national information network" to come into being by next year.

Perhaps this might have a more wide-ranging whitelist of allowable content than anticipated when - or we should say if - it comes into being. We'll just have to see if that's the case.

While it is possible that there could be some plan afoot to marshal the surfing of Iranians more closely, there are other factors which may mean this isn't a realistic proposition anyway. Human rights outrage aside, the economic damage of curtailing the internet in a country must also be taken into account.

Source: PC Pro