REPORTS that Iran is planning to shut down the internet and replace it with home-grown web sites have been rubbished by the country's communications ministry.
Iran had reportedly planned to block access to the internet and replace web sites such as Google and Facebook with Iranian alternatives, but the Iranian government called such reports Western propaganda. Reza Taghipour, Iran's Communications and Information Technology minister reportedly said in an interview, "All Internet Service Providers (ISP) should only present National Internet by August," however his department distanced itself from the claim by not confirming the minister's comments.
Iran's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said, "The report is in no way confirmed by the ministry" adding the reports of Iran planning a complete internet blackout was "completely baseless", adding that the claims were from "the propaganda wing of the West".
Iran already blocks access to a number of foreign web sites and in the past has blocked web sites such as Facebook, Google and the BBC.
Even if Iran does go down the route of blocking foreign web sites and pushing its citizens onto web sites it can control, history has shown that it is very difficult to stop users from viewing foreign content. Services such as proxies, TOR, SSH tunnelling and virtual private networks can make it very difficult for governments to track and decipher what network users are doing. µ