Thursday, September 20 09:50:02
The regime in Iran is at an advanced stage in launching it's own internally controlled "Internet" in order to shield it's people from the influences of Western society. The concept of a self-contained network has been reverberating within Iran for almost a decade and has often been treated with scepticism, given the significant investment in infrastructure and security that would be required. But Iranian officials and outside experts say that development of the network has accelerated following cyber-attacks aimed at the country's nuclear program.
Last month, Iran's communications and information technology minister unveiled a plan to take key government agencies and military outfits offline and onto the new network by the end of September. U.S. security researchers say they are for the first time seeing evidence of an operational network that is consistent with Iran's publicly stated plans. The researchers, working under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Global Communications Studies, say in a report to be released this week that they have found functional versions of the sites of government ministries, universities and businesses on the network. They also found evidence of an already operational filtering capability.
At the core of the network was high-end equipment manufactured by the Chinese firm Huawei that is capable of sophisticated online surveillance of traffic. The network is already "internally consistent and widely reachable," concluded the report, a copy of which was provided to The Washington Post.