Iran to unplug key agencies from web to escape West’s internet monopoly

By USA Today

In a bid to avoid future cyberattacks, Iran plans to unplug key government agencies from the Internet starting next month, the country’s telecom chief says.

The plan to build a closed, nationwide intranet began in 2005. Two years ago, a limited test network was launched in the province of Qom, site of Iran’s holiest city.

The announcement that key ministries would move behind a secure, non-Web firewall next month came Sunday at a conference in Tehran, The Telegraph reports.

“The establishment of the national intelligence network will create a situation where the precious intelligence of the country won’t be accessible to these powers,” said Reza Taghipour, the telecommunications minister.

He said the World Wide Web could not be trusted because it was controlled by “one or two” countries hostile to Iran, a veiled reference to the United States and Israel.

Both countries are suspected of unleashing two potent viruses directed at Iran: Stuxnet, which crippled its nuclear facilities in 2010, and Flame, which allowed eavesdropping and data theft in May.


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