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Is Iran Making Plans To Create Its Own “Internet” To Isolate Its People From The Rest Of The World?
September 24, 2012
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Iran has restricted access to Google today - censoring both its search engine and Gmail for people inside the country.

The government says Google and Gmail will be filtered nationwide, and will remain filtered until further notice. The move comes as protests continue in the Muslim world, against that anti-Islamic film that showed up on YouTube.

As of today, people in Iran can only access Gmail accounts by using a virtual private network or VPN, which allow you to surf the web and get past firewalls.

Analysts say many Iranians already use VPNs to get around the government's restrictions on other Western websites.

However, it seems Iran has a bigger motive here than just censorship.

In the next few years, analysts say the government wants to create its own "internet", to control all traffic from outside, limit or block information, and isolate the people of Iran from the rest of the world.

Iran's government says the people asked officials to block Google because of the anti-Islamic film. But in reality, any protests in Iran have been relatively small.

And analysts and many citizens say the government is just using the film as an excuse to
impose censorship.

One tweet from an Iranian citizen said "This is a pre-determined scenario to block Google in Iran, they wanted to do this since long time ago... Now they have found the best alibi to do it."

Another tweet said "This self-proclaimed superpower is afraid of satellites, internet and people's consciousness."

In fact, YouTube - where the film first showed up - has been censored in Iran for three years.

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The government did that after protests and allegations of vote fraud after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected.

As well, back in February, Iran's government restricted both Google Search and Gmail, ahead of parliamentary elections in March.

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Around the same time, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered officials to set up a task force to make decisions about the internet.

It's called the Supreme Council of Virtual Space. (they get points for the name, if nothing else).

Websites such as Facebook and Twitter are also often censored, as well as the websites of major Western media organizations.

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