Iranian officials have long discussed developing a religiously acceptable internal network, known as the "halal" Internet, which is isolated from the World Wide Web, and security researcher Collin Anderson recently found evidence that elements of this parallel Internet have already been created.
Anderson found that telecommunications companies in Iran allocate two Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to every machine that connects to the Internet. One of the IP addresses is a conventional Web address, while the other one is only accessible from within the country. The internal network can handle up to about 17 million IP addresses, and already has about 10,000 connected devices, including those in private homes, government buildings, and e-commerce sites. The network also contains academic Web sites and email services.
Anderson speculates that the internal network will contain Iran-specific content and own-brand versions of popular services. The government would then hold back connections to outside networks, making them unusably slow and forcing Iranian users onto the national network, Anderson suggests. However, he notes Iranians will still be able to access the Internet through the anonymizing network Tor and virtual private networks.
From New Scientist
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