Iran appears to be following through with previously reported plans to move its citizens onto a domestic Internet network just as the country is about to start blocking Google, according to Reuters. It's unclear whether the two moves are related.
A government deputy minister today announced the domestic Internet plans as a way to improve cybersecurity, just as state television announced Google's search engine and e-mail would be blocked "within a few hours," Reuters reported. The news service quoted an official only identified as Khoramabadi as saying "Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice."
A government communications and technology official reportedly said that in recent days, all government agencies and offices have been connected to the "national information network." The next step would be to connect everyday citizens to the network as well, he said.
This is in line with a report from April that the country was planning a national interanet within five months in an effort to create "a clean Internet." That report was later denied, but reports of an Iranian Internet system isolated from the Web ... [Read more]