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Iran Developing 'Halal' Domestic Intranet 248

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.'"
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Iran Developing 'Halal' Domestic Intranet

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  • Atheism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:08AM (#38608982) Homepage

    will insulate its citizens from Western ideology and un-Islamic culture

    No wonder atheism is on the rise. Religion was a great idea a thousand years ago, but it's time it was consigned to the history books.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:10AM (#38609004)
    Apparently you have not been listening. The majority of Iranians are just as pissed off about this as you, and wish their government would stop it. However, their government has more guns and the standard of living hasn't descended to levels in Egypt or Syria yet. It'll get there soon, and then they'll the latest to join the Arab Spring. The Iranian people aren't the problem.

    What I'm scared of is we have Cold War 2.0 in the Middle East. With troops already in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Iran posturing in the Straights of Hormuz, it wouldn't take much to push the US to shift the carrier fleet over there and up the proposed trade embargo to a compete military blockade. I would personally not like that to happen; We've spent enough on pointless wars. However, we're dealing with political leaders who believe in religious fundamentalism. All bets on a measured and diplomatic response to any situation are off when you come up against that level of outright lunacy.
  • Re:Come on, elrous0 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:13AM (#38609040)

    Yeah, okay, that was a cheap shot. But I couldn't resist. And while the U.S. is certainly no Iran when it comes to repression, it is good to keep in mind that there is a slippery slope that's all too easy to slide down into once you get going. Right now the government/coporatocracy in the U.S. doesn't face any real threats, so it's easy to be generous with freedoms. But what would happen if something like the Occupy movement really started to gain ground and actually started shutting down cities and firebombing corporate HQ's? Would the powers-that-be hesitate to start using some of that power we've given them to start suppressing internet access here? It's already happened here at least once [], on a smaller scale.

  • Wrong name (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mseeger ( 40923 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:16AM (#38609076)

    They should call it "Crackdown on Internet Piracy" and they would become best buddys with some congressmen.

    The current political elite is loosing it's grip. So it is only natural that they start fighting. Same here, same there.

  • by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:17AM (#38609088) Homepage Journal

    Check out this great and inspiring talk by the Tor project: 28c3: How governments have tried to block Tor []

    There are more Tor users in Iran (second-largest IIRC) now than in Germany!

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:32AM (#38609248)

    What Iran is doing progressively is building justification for some sort of military action against them. And morally... they're slowly justifying some sort of strike as well. In effect, they're slowly raising the guillotine blade that when it falls... will at best strike off the head of their nation. At worst, there will be collateral damage.

    You fail to think of it from the perspective of the Mullahs.

    What they are trying to do is get the US to react. To attack Iran, so that they can rally "the Muslim world" into a WW3-type "Islam vs The World" war that they believe to be inevitable and that they believe they will win.

    These are the same assholes who have said, quite publicly and numerous times on record, that if they had access to a nuke they would have absolutely NO problem nuking Tel Aviv, and wouldn't give a crap how many Arabs they killed in Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, and Egypt because their immediate goal of wiping out "the Jews" would be achieved, and there would still be over a billion Muslims in the world.

    The "fine line" being straddled right now in international diplomacy is, how the fuck do you separate Iran from the rest of the Muslims such that when war happens, it doesn't devolve into a religious WW3?

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:33AM (#38609250)
    Just go back to the previous Slashdot post [].

    In Iran, they build a halal closed internet. Here in the US they let the entrenched media conglomerates control the flow of information by abusing civil law to maintain a de facto cartel.

    Iran has a state enforced religious code, in the US they privatize the enforcement to self serving corrupt economic interests that want to maintain the status quo by eliminating competition. Without meaningful competition there is no functioning capitalism.

    The difference in only in the execution, not the result. The US version is more sophisticated, and the Iranian version is more crude. That's about it.

  • by G-Man ( 79561 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @11:34AM (#38610058)

    "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". [] I would argue the concept of separation of church and state *began* with Christianity. This explains it's viral nature and why it has been able to survive and even flourish under governments who are quite hostile to it. The fact it got coopted by the state says more about politicians than it does about religion.

  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @12:22PM (#38610606)

    Why is Iran doing this to itself? It's so needlessly self destructive.

    Super simplified answer is, "They're Shia." It is essentially doctrine that everyone's out to get them. They don't trust anyone. Also, the country is run by religious zealots who truly believe that's it been all downhill since the Fatimid Caliphate in the 900s. The educated class is seen by the leadership as both traitors and heretics who must be rubbed out.

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @12:31PM (#38610702)

    Wait, so Ahmadamnutjob saying he wants to wipe out the Jews, talking about "end times" of Islam vs The World in some crazed holy war, sending Iranian military to poke and prod US ships in the gulf... is all a "US Plot"?

    You probably need a new tinfoil hat, yours is leaking :P

  • +1 Interesting. I don't necessarily agree with all you said, but it is thought provoking. Two points I disagree with:

    even if they did unite the whole muslim world against us that's not actually a very credible military force.

    1) The problem isn't with the actual military - it's the insurgents that cause the issues. The U.S. invaded Iraq pretty easily, but they dealt with a 10+ year war of attrition which I wouldn't say they won. *NOBODY* would have a hope in hell of occupying all the Arab nations simultaneously.

    When was the last time you bought something that said "made in "? Probably never because they have almost no industrial capacity. That means they have no ability to wage a modern war...Oh sure, they can plant IEDs if you let them get close. But if you waged a WW2 type war against them none of that would work.

    I think the wars in Afgahnistan & Iraq ARE the modern war. It's not military vs military, it's military vs insurgents. I doubt a WW2 style war could happen again strictly because of the nuclear option being so prevalent and the networked media giving us so much information that large scale mass destruction would turn the tide of opinion pretty quickly.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"