Iranian politicians get their dull monitored internet

Iranian MPs sleeping in Majlis ParliamentIran has announced it has completed the first phase of its plan to operate a “national internet” which will be free of all the porn and anti-Islamic thought that the real internet has. Basically it is getting what former UK Prime Minister David Cameron wanted and it is a bit of a snooze.

An inauguration ceremony was held on Sunday by the country’s communications and information technology minister, Mahmoud Vaezi.

The state news agency Irna said the initiative would offer “high quality, high speed” connections at “low costs” although it is not clear how it can be any cheaper than the real thing.

Cynics think that the aim of the new net is to tighten the authorities’ control by closely monitoring people’s use and censoring everything.

Iran already blocks access to overseas-based social media services – including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – many users still access them via proxy sites and virtual private networks (VPNs).

The government says it wants an isolated domestic intranet that can be used to promote Islamic content and raise digital awareness among the public.  It will eventually replace the real internet.

“All domestic activities, services, applications [and] various types of contents… are included in the national internet,” he declared at the launch.

The minister added that the initiative would make it easier to combat cyber-threats. At the ceremony, another official said the Information Technology ministry had recently had to combat several distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks – attempts to overwhelm its computer servers by flooding them with traffic.