If it’s true that Iran is separating its Internet from the rest of the world, then it also might be true that we might see something like this to be a common thing in various parts of the world in the near future. According to the Guardian “The internet in pieces” piece, Iran is creating a giant Intranet. Nonetheless, I prefer to call Iran’s giant Intranet as Iran Internet since the whole Iran country would be able to use this particular Intranet for everything. They would use it for banking, e-commerce, news, entertainment, streaming, and you name it. The list goes on. Nonetheless, none of the activities that can be done within Iran Internet will be able to share communication with the world Internet (i.e., the Internet which everyone across the globe is using).
The whole idea for Iran to have its very own Internet is to have better control of the flow of the information. Furthermore, it’s much harder for hackers outside Iran to deploy payloads (i.e., hack exploits/attacks) against Iran’s electronic infrastructure, because I surmise Iran Internet would not have any real physical connection between itself and the world Internet (i.e., the Internet in which everyone across the globe is using). I also surmise that to retain some communication between Iran Internet and the world Internet, Iran might deploy not one Iran Internet but two or more. How come? I surmise Iran might deploy a second Iran Internet which isn’t so isolated from the world Internet to allow Iran’s authorized entities perform electronic transactions with the world. Then there is a question, how would Iran retain and transfer the information from the exposed Iran Internet to the isolated Iran Internet? I guess, Iran must have a way to copy information from one network to another without having two networks connect to each other physically.
Why did I say that Iran Internet might become a common thing in the future? It’s obvious that various parts of the world are totally aware of the dangers of being hacked. Unlike a regular citizen of a country, a country itself has lot of state secrets to protect, therefore it’s unacceptable for state secrets to be leaked through electronic hacks. If Iran Internet is a success in term of protecting Iran from state hacks, we might see various countries create state Intranet which separates from citizen Internet. Nonetheless, some countries might go just as far as how Iran is doing with its own Internet by creating state Internet which encompasses citizen Internet, to isolate many citizens from the world Internet.
The only thing I can think of for any country to build citizen Internet is to control the inflow and outflow of the information that get in and out of a country. This way, a country can monitor, censor, and regulate the flow of information between a country and the world. In a way, some countries might have been doing this, already! Nonetheless, these countries’ approaches to the Internet aren’t extreme as Iran Internet. These countries employ sophisticated firewall to filter out things that need to be censored, effectively preventing regular citizens to have access to the world and domestic information alike. Nonetheless, any avid computer user in these countries can totally use a technology known as proxy to bypass any computer network censorship. When a country adopts Iran Internet strategy, proxy technology might become useless in regarding to allowing computer users to bypass network censorship. How come? Isolated Internet (or Iran Internet kind of network) is physically disconnected from the world Internet (i.e., the Internet which everyone is using across the globe).
I think it’s a shame that in our near future, the information age might see the Internet breaks into pieces that segregate from each other. It’s a possibility since many countries want to protect state secrets and have better control of the information flow that gets in and out of a country. A polarized Internet of tomorrow will not be the Internet of today, and I fear we might not be able to call such polarized Internet as the Internet. What’s the point of naming a polarized Internet as the Internet when the main function of the Internet, which is allowing the free flow of information, isn’t possible? Perhaps, the real Internet of tomorrow only occurs on intermittent basis and under heavy monitoring!
The citizens who live in the countries that employ isolated Internet will not be so informed about the world as much as the people who live in the countries that impose no Internet censorship of whatsoever. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing to be more informed about the world, but I think it’s definitely more exciting for someone like me to know more about the world through the lens of the free Internet (i.e., no censorship). What do you think?
- Iran designing its own version of the Internet (washingtonpost.com)
- Iran Still Preparing Internal Version of Internet (legitreviews.com)
- Iran preparing internal version of Internet (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Iran to shield itself from cyberattack using secure intranet (networkworld.com)
- Iran Prepares Launch Of National Internet (eurasiareview.com)
- Iran preparing internal version of Internet (iranaware.com)
- Iran to Replace “Untrustworthy” Internet with a Domestic Intranet (zen-haven.dk)
- Iran’s ministries to go offline: phase one of move to intranet society (wired.co.uk)