Iran's State-Run 'Internet' Already Working: Report

Tehran hopes to deter cyber attacks, control information
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2012 3:49 PM CDT
In this Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011 file photo, an Iranian security guard stands at the Maroun Petrochemical plant at the Imam Khomeini port, where technicians battled a complex computer virus.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

(Newser) – Rumors of Iran building its own intranet are all too true, the Washington Post reports. Hoping to control online activity and deter cyber attacks from the US and Israel, Tehran has begun a nationwide network that would partly replace the Internet. The project is already "internally consistent and widely reachable," says a report by US researchers—which jibes with Tehran's claim that government agencies and military groups would be on a new network by the end of the month.

A State Department official reacted with concern, saying that "when countries section off parts of the Web, not only do their citizens suffer, everyone does." Iran's officials do have their reasons, like wanting to launch cyber attacks on enemies and block US-backed programs that aid Iranian activists. But the network—reportedly built with equipment from a Chinese company—appears "doomed to failure," says a former NSA official. "No matter what you do, there will always be vulnerabilities in a network."

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