An anonymous reader writes "The WSJ reports that Iran is beginning a crackdown on Internet use by its citizens, creating new blocks against foreign content and stepping up surveillance of browsing habits. Internet cafes in Iran have 15 days to set up security cameras and start collecting information on customers, and people are finding it increasingly difficult to use social networking sites. The new restrictions are likely being implemented now to head off dissent and protests about the upcoming parliamentary elections. According to the article, 'The network slowdown likely heralds the arrival of an initiative Iran has been readying—a "halal" domestic intranet that it has said will insulate its citizens from Western ideology and un-Islamic culture, and eventually replace the Internet. This week's slowdown came amid tests of the Iranian intranet, according to domestic media reports that cited a spokesman for a union of computer-systems firms. He said the intranet is set to go live within a few weeks.'"