If Iran’s telecommunications minister can be believed, the Islamic Republic is taking their government ministries offline. Reza Taghipour Anvari announced that all Iranian government ministries and state bodies’ computer networks will be taken off the internet in September. The announcement, which was made on Sunday at a conference at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University, is the first substantial step in Iran’s fitful moves towards creating a nationwide, private (and government-controlled) secure intranet.
Iran previously announced plans to launch their Second Internet in early 2012. At the conference, Taghipour said that Iranian government ministries are going offline (Persian-language link) and that internal data centers were under construction throughout the country. Taghipour told reporters from the Islamic Students’ News Agency and other Iranian sources that the worldwide internet was untrustworthy because of control by “one or two” countries hostile to Iran. Iran, Israel, and the United States have been engaged in a low-key but persistent cyberwar; the most recent salvo is the newly discovered Gauss cyberhacking toolkit, which targeted Lebanese bank accounts with Iranian links.
According to the Iranian government, their ultimate goal is to turn the “Second Internet” into a secure national intranet that will replace the current, worldwide internet.
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