Minister: Iran’s own internet network to solve problems

Iran Materials 8 January 2012 16:03 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 8/ Trend M. Moezzi

Iran's information minister said the country's own internet network will solve problems with costs, security and bandwidth, the Islamic Republic's News Agency (IRNA) reported.

When the network becomes operational in a few weeks, internet use will no longer need an international bandwidth for domestic connections and bandwidth expenses will drop up to 30 percent, Reza Taghipour said. With domestic communications routed through the "national information network" the international bandwidth will be freed for international communications, Mr. Taghipour said.

The network's purpose is to provide Iranian citizens with the safe environment to use the internet and to protect Iran from cyber-attacks. Protecting privacy and preventing cyber-attacks are concerns all the countries in the world, the information minister said.

Like the two-track internet system used by Cuba and Myanmar, Iran's new network seeks to cut off the public's access to the World Wide Web. It would give government institutions and large companies access to the internet while limiting ordinary Iranians' use to the "halal" network (halal means in accordance with Islamic law).

Iran announced earlier that it was working on a "halal" internet network to protect Iranians from the harmful content on the World Wide Web. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government allocated $1 billion to develop the project.

In recent days Iranians have been increasingly frustrated by slow internet service and no access to many sites including Facebook and twitter.

In 2010, Iran's industrial and nuclear computer systems were attacked by the Stuxnet worm. The worm was a malware designed to infect computers using Siemens Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) - a control system favored by industries that manage water supplies, oil rigs and power plants.