Stop Fundamentalism – Iran is planning to develop its own search engine, to replace globally used search engines such as Google or Yahoo.
Iranian minister of communications, Reza Taghipour told Mehr state-run news agency that the plan to develop a national search engine is aiming to protect Iranian users’ privacy.
“There is no doubt that foreign search engines are in reality tools for espionage by outsiders” said Taghipour to Mehr, “We can see that in charts and figures they publish.”
“As an example they can say what the Iranian people search for on a specific day in a year meaning they are continually monitoring Iranian users,” said Taghipour cautioning users that foreign countries “follow evil intentions having access to such information.”
While sounding quite cynical, Iran’s Communication Minister is pointing to a serious concern of the Iranian regime which comes with open internet and that is free access to information and news by the Iranian public.
The Iranians are heavy internet users and many of the have blogs and participate in social networks. Despite strong systematic content filtering is imposed by the government, the Iranian youth always manger to circumvent the filtering and reach outside world for information.
Following the 2009 after elections protests that shock the entire existence of the regime in Iran, the government has been trying to put in place a domestic version of internet so it can cutoff the Iranian youth from outside world.
But recently it seems some government officials are backing down from the idea. “The national internet is in no way intended to replace the internet,” said Reza Taghavi. “It will stay in along side of the national internet as a service that anyone who wished to use it, will be free to do so.”