Iran looks to be trying to cement its place at the top of the censorship league-tables with an announcement that they plan to release their own operating system to rival Windows/OSX/Ubuntu/Android/etc and have their own private “internet”. Iran is promoting this as a cost-saving measure and a way to uphold an Islamic moral code, but censorship is pretty obviously the real focus here – if the state owns each part of the network then censorship would become a whole lot easier – none of that nasty information coming in from outside.
I’m not sure the Iranian elite have appreciated that a private “internet” is really just an intranet, even if it is on a national level, and removes most the information distribution and harmonizing benefits of the internet in general. Nevertheless Iran plans to roll out this network quickly with 60% of Iran’s home and businesses migrating “soon” with the whole country moved to the private networks within two years. Furthermore, the Iranian Head of Economic Affairs, Ali Aghamohammadi, has expressed his confidence that the government-approved internet and operating system will also be deployed by other Muslim countries. Countries which are shuttering their entire internet connection to prevent word of protests spreading I assume will be signing up quickly.
As a side note, for a country claiming such technical engineering and security prowess, it must be embarrassing that internet vigilantes Anonymous have hacked the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and procured 100,000 email messages from their databases. They have also declared their intention for a “complete DDoS attack day” to commemorate 2009’s rigged election.