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Iranian State Goes Offline To Avoid Cyber-Attacks 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-going-home dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "The Iranian minister for telecommunication has said that the government will be taking key ministries and state agencies offline in the next month to protect sensitive information from cyber-attacks. However this move is just the initial step in an 18 month plan to take the country off the world wide web, and replace it with a state-controlled intranet. From the article: 'The US began offensive cyber-attacks against Iran during the presidency of George W. Bush when the Olympics Games project was founded. Out of this was [born] the Stuxnet cyber-weapon, which was designed to specifically target the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran.'"
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Iranian State Goes Offline To Avoid Cyber-Attacks

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  • Talk about... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Monday August 06, 2012 @11:55AM (#40895435)

    ... chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

    I feel sorry for the Iranian people, who by-and-large, are reasonably normal, but are stuck with a crap theocratic government through little fault of their own.

    Will BP and their friends ever be held responsible for the damage they've done to world peace in the name of profit for their shareholders?

    • Re:Talk about... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:04PM (#40895533)

      I feel sorry for the Iranian people, who by-and-large, are reasonably normal, but are stuck with a crap theocratic government through little fault of their own.

      You'd expect the American people and Iranian people would have common cause, but its always shouted down in idiotic flag waving patriotism (on both sides). Which is too bad. When we sold our soul to the international olympics committee weren't we promised international brotherhood? I want a refund.

      • You'd expect the Iranian state to have more sense, after all, the Natanz malware did not move around via internet, it moved around on foot.

        Let's hope the efficiency loss for the Iranian government hastens the departure of allah out of that country (or at the very least out of it's government).

        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          You'd expect the Iranian state to have more sense, after all, the Natanz malware did not move around via internet, it moved around on foot.

          Who knew sneaker net was still so powerful?

    • Re:Talk about... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:08PM (#40895587)

      Do you think they would still have a crap theocratic government if the US and GB had not overthrown their democratically elected government in 1953 and replaced it with their own dictator?

      • Re:Talk about... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:18PM (#40895711)

        Extremely good point -- unfortunately, few people care nor know about this nowadays, at least in countries where it might make a difference. Don't annoy Americans with actual facts unless it makes our country look good. Go to YouTube, look up "History of Iran & USA in 10 min".

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Great Britain and Iran have a lot in common. For example: they are the only countries in the world where clerics are appointed to the government.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          Because that doesn't happen in Vatican City.

        • Subtle difference - religious leaders (Church of England) are appointed to the House of Lords (roughly equivalent to the Senate), the "government" is purely the majority party/parties in the House of Commons (~House of Reps).

          The general meaning stands though, we do have religious leaders automatically placed in the House of Lords, in my opinion it's an outdated and discriminatory practice and I'm glad to see reform being introduced. That said, how many members of the US Senate/HofR are openly non-Christ
          • by Dins (2538550)

            That said, how many members of the US Senate/HofR are openly non-Christian?

            Someone's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, should have absolutely no bearing on governing a country. Any country. Too bad this is not the case in most cases... I don't care if you believe in God, Allah, the FSM, or nothing at all. Knock yourself out. Just keep all of it out of my government.

            • That's a double edged sword - do we allow virtually anyone to stand for election, or do we bar the religious on the grounds of a mental instability?

              And what happens in places like the deep south of the USA where the electorate won't vote for you unless you're a brimstone preaching Christian?

              Agreed, we should remove any automatic political benefit for religious leaders, but barring the religious from political office....well...that sounds like the kind of discrimination that some religions present as $
              • by Dins (2538550)
                I'm not advocating barring anyone from office based on religion - far from it. You should be able to hold political office no matter what your religion or if you are atheist/agnostic. What I want isn't practical and will probably never happen. I just want to live in a world where government is truly separate from religion. Where nobody cares what your religious beliefs are or aren't. I also would like to win the lottery and a functional Starship Enterprise.
                • by PRMan (959735)
                  But if your religion actually means anything to you, it helps to shape your morality and values. Therefore, people believe the way they do because of the writings of those they believe (rightly or wrongly) to be more wise than themselves and attempt to follow to become wise themselves (or go to heaven and get 72 virgins or whatever). Nobody (even atheists) can separate their religious beliefs from their actions.
                  • I dont believe the reason that you believe what you believe has any relevance whatsoever to your right to believe it; nor should it have any impact on your right to pursue office or anything else.

                  • But if your religion actually means anything to you, it helps to shape your morality and values.

                    It can, however, be shown that it's perfectly possible to form a strong and moral code without any religious instruction. Good people are good people, regardless of their creation theory. Religion may well shape this "natural" moral code, but whether that's a good thing is debatable, there's extreme examples on both sides.

              • That's a double edged sword - do we allow virtually anyone to stand for election, or do we bar the religious on the grounds of a mental instability?

                People ask why Christians seem to carry around this sneaking paranoia that one day everyone will start persecuting them again.

                Im not sure that Id agree with that premise, but this comment-- and many many others like it-- dont do much to reassure anyone. Im not sure I would be super surprised if your apparent wish came true, either.

                Say what you want about how crazy or stupid you think religious folks are, but at least we arent trying to outlaw atheism, and I dont believe thats been on the table for a good s

            • by Sulphur (1548251)

              That said, how many members of the US Senate/HofR are openly non-Christian?

              Someone's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, should have absolutely no bearing on governing a country. Any country. Too bad this is not the case in most cases...

              I don't care if you believe in God, Allah, the FSM, or nothing at all. Knock yourself out. Just keep all of it out of my government.

              Congress shall make no law respecting ...
              I would like to read that as with respect to, that is government is to keep out of religion, and not the other way around.

          • Re:Talk about... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by blackest_k (761565) on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:31PM (#40898187) Homepage Journal

            I know it is undemocratic but I really like the house of Lords, hereditary peers especially. They owe nothing to nobody and have proven time and time again to be the only barrier to government excess.

            They say what they think and that makes a difference. I don't even have an issue with the clergy since they are at least principled can you say the same for a retired politician who's been bought and sold their whole career?

          • And in Iran the religious leaders are appointed to the guardian council, which isn't technically the government, the government being the elected leadership of the parliament.
      • It sucks, and there really needs to be some kind of truth and reconciliation process, and some heartfelt apologies. A lot of people screwed up, and a lot of very bad decisions were made.

        Good luck with that, with Iran's current government. They draw strength from demonising the West, and whipping up hatred against people who otherwise don't have a beef with them at all. Religion has a lot to do with it.

      • Do you think they would still have a crap theocratic government if the US and GB had not overthrown their democratically elected government in 1953 and replaced it with their own dictator?

        Yes.

      • Dictator in the 50s?!? Khomeni instituted the Islamic revolution with the full backing of Jimmy Carter...otherwise it would never have happened. See, Carter had this human rights program that demanded that the Shah step down. William Sulivan, Carter's ambassador to Iran, said, "Khomeini is a Ghandi-like figure." Carter adviser James Bill said that Khomeini is not a fundamentalist Muslim who meant exactly what he said, but a man of "impeccable integrity and honesty." "Khomeini will eventually be hailed

        • by PRMan (959735) on Monday August 06, 2012 @04:20PM (#40898697)
          Nobody saw the Taliban becoming more fundamentalist. I had an Afghan friend whose fought in the war against Russia and even he was shocked when the Taliban gave up on their promises of education and voting for women, westernization, etc., in favor of fundamentalism. If he was among them and didn't see it coming, how could Reagan or any other outsider possibly have seen it?
      • Re:Talk about... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sir_Sri (199544) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:54PM (#40896197)

        Maybe, but the UK and SU overthrew the government previous to that in WW2 because it was on the verge of allying with Nazi germany, and that was 41, and the Shahs dynasty was only installed in 1925 (which is essentially the same period as the ottoman states that were formed after WW1 including Jordan, Egypt, Iraq etc.).

        Political forces have play for a lot of reasons. One of the things you're seeing in the arab spring is that the people of those countries aren't really pleased with their governments for, for example, making peace with israel, making deals with the americans etc. The Shia revolution that ended up in charge did so in large part as a reaction to westernization (secular institutions, relatively liberal economic policies, in particular an alliance with the US etc.). All of those things could have come into being under the government structure from 53, and could have ended up with a similar outcome. The relatively messy revolution might not have materialized the same way had their been more democracy, but you can elect bad leaders rather than have them seize power in a revolution or coup. Just look at india and pakistan, california, israel the US federal government, the Eurozone leadership etc. They've all elected leaders with some really bad, including demonstrably wrong, policies. But that's the risk you take with any form of government. Iran is particularly extreme because they're particularly disliked, but that comes with the territory.

      • by tnk1 (899206)

        Do you think they would still have a crap theocratic government if the US and GB had not overthrown their democratically elected government in 1953 and replaced it with their own dictator?

        Yes, actually. Because Iran would have ended up as a Soviet client state, although more independent than Afghanistan. Once the Soviet Union folded, Iran would join a number of Mideast and Central Asian states to become either an idiosyncratic dictatorship or it would fall back into an Islamic state.

        Bear in mind, there was nothing in particular about the Shah's government that was theocratic, which implies that the religious impetus was there behind the scenes all the time. Much like Afghanistan turned in

        • Re:Talk about... (Score:4, Informative)

          by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:59PM (#40897829) Journal

          Because Iran would have ended up as a Soviet client state, although more independent than Afghanistan. Once the Soviet Union folded, Iran would join a number of Mideast and Central Asian states to become either an idiosyncratic dictatorship or it would fall back into an Islamic state.

          Well, the closest post-Soviet Central Asian state to Iran is Azerbaijan (also majority Shiite), and they seem to be doing pretty good. Not so much on the democracy front - though not really any worse than Iran - but much more secular and westernized, and not relying on populist anti-west rhetoric to garner popular support for the authoritarian government.

          Much like Afghanistan turned into an Islamist hell hole after the Soviets left the nominally secular government to swing in the wind

          That was actually another western mistake - betting on Islamists against the Soviets, forcing Soviets to leave. Things might have been different there, too, if the USSR didn't pull out when it did.

          • by tnk1 (899206)

            I think the major point to take away is that things don't necessarily change for the better if you change one action, even a significant one. There are underlying historical and cultural currents that can sweep away the specifics of a situation. It's the same sort of talk you get when you talk about assassinating this or that particular dictator before they came to power. These people came to power riding on some sort of sentiment, something pushed them. If that particular person had not come to power,

      • by poity (465672)

        Mostly likely. Western countries weren't the only ones manipulating Iran. Had Soviet influence gained more traction Iran would have faced the same kind of enemy, just from the other side of the chess board. Islamization is a natural result when you consider the power of religion in rallying people toward a common cause, and oppression is the shortcut that governments take to achieve security.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        Pahlevi's great failing was trying to change Iran, not merely being a strongman.

        The impulse toward theocracy is strong in Islam (and Christianity), and Pahlevi was mild compared to the mullocracy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Krojack (575051)

      Will BP and their friends ever be held responsible for the damage they've done to world peace in the name of profit for their shareholders?

      I honestly don't understand what BP and friends w/shareholders have to do with:
      A) a government that openly states that they don't recognize a country (Israel) and wishes it was wiped off the map.
      B) a government that will publicly hang gay people.

      For this to end, what's currently happening in Syria needs to also happen in Iran. Yes, sadly people will die but that's the cost to get out from under the hand of such governments.

      • Maybe BP should take another big charge on their balance sheet and wipe out their shareholders, when something bad happens, and we're forced to go to war.

        They made this fucking mess, they should be forced to pay for the cleanup.

      • Re:Talk about... (Score:5, Informative)

        by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:28PM (#40895825)
        He's referring to the reasons the US/UK engineered the 1953 Iranian coup [wikipedia.org]
      • Exsept the overthrone governments have been going to the same type of extremist leadership Iran already has. The extremist muslum groups love the Internet they love socalnetworking sites like twitter and facebook. But once they have the power they will disconnect their new country from them to keep stop people from using them the same as they already did.

      • by makomk (752139)

        they don't recognize a country (Israel) and wishes it was wiped off the map.

        That particular creative translation was provided by an Israeli political organisation. I'm not sure that the Iranian government even knows what it means, given that English is not exactly their first language, or even their second.

      • For this to end, what's currently happening in Syria needs to also happen in Iran

        Given that what's currently happening in Syria is shaping up to be yet another "Islamic revolution", it already happened in Iran 30 years ago - hanging gays is a consequence of that. As a side note, gays are not hanged in Syria - it's punished by jail time, and is not generally vigorously enforced, unlike Iran. But given the recent events, this is likely to change, and not for good. The problem with these states is not the governments coming up with such laws, it's that the populace widely supports them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Are you kidding me? These are the same people who invented the chess board. They are removing an internal communications infrastructure to:

      A) Prevent coordinated efforts by any rebels that may arise due to the "Arab spring".
      B) Lower the communications capability with its citizens and any invading force.
      C) Lessen psychological warfare.

      Look, the network that the US and Israel attacked WAS an offline network (last article I read). Tell me, if they go completely offline... how will they distribute their belove

      •   Look, the network that the US and Israel attacked WAS an offline network (last article I read). Tell me, if they go completely offline... how will they distribute their beloved MS Updates?

        The year of the Linux desktop will come in Iran much sooner.

    • Re:Talk about... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:37PM (#40895943) Homepage
      The US and Israel are both governments where you can't be elected without being overtly religious. They're also hyper-aggressive and have engaged in acts of war against Iran, which has done .... what, exactly? Which states have crap theocratic governments again?
      • by EnsilZah (575600)

        Can't be elected without being overtly religious?
        I've lived in Israel for 21 years and though some of that time I wasn't old enough to care about politics, I don't remember a candidate's* personal religious convictions ever being an issue.
        In fact as far as I know most if not all prime ministers were secular and an orthodox person is not very likely to appeal to the general electorate.

        As for acts of war regarding Iran, if you're referring to the scientist assassinations (since I can't think of anything else,

    • I feel sorry for the Iranian people, who by-and-large, are reasonably normal, but are stuck with a crap theocratic government through little fault of their own.

      Not true. They have the ability to change their government, but they have decided it isn't worth the effort and lives it would take to do so.

      The USA decided to change their government twice (Revolution worked, but the Civil War failed), and now has also decided apathy is much easier.

      Neither group of citizens should get off pretending like they are helpless victims of their big old government. The government operates with the permission of the majority of the people in both cases.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        well, that's why they're getting their international news cut right now. they might choose that it's worth revolting. this isn't about cyberattacks on facilities that are attacked by sneakernet anyways. it's about cutting dissident coms.

      • amen.. in the big picture - yes, if anyone wants something like change bad enough they will find a way to make it happen. .. but losing your life in the process isn't a really promising way of change. If I die, I don't benefit, and I won't be able to protect my children from any blowback.

        apathy, or at least 'keeping your head down' has become a way of dealing with government all over the world. Even in a relatively ok system of government, if you do decide to get involved, you will be branded as "ant

      • Iranians tried a revolution a couple years ago. It was violently suppressed. Let's see the USA try a revolt against modern military and police might.
    • by jkrise (535370)

      I feel sorry for the Iranian people

      The Internet is not an absolute necessity for life. First comes national security. Iran is a nation that has every right to exist and defend itself. Insulating their people from the rogue internet controlled by commercial interests in a nation they do not trust, is a very good form of self defence.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      baby?

      Iranian government is pleased to do this.

      Remember, it's not really foreigners they give a shit about, it's their domestic "terrorists" - the people who oppose the totalitarian government. They need to take the country offline so that their people don't stumble on articles about the world laughing on their leader for saying there's no gays in Iran for example.

      This is happening as Syria is on fire with Syrians in open revolt against their government. Iranian power holders really, really don't want their

    • I really wouldn't say little fault of their own. They purposely set up a theocratic government in the 70's. Most of the people who participated in setting that up are still alive.

    • by sbrown123 (229895)

      You think the internet is free of censorship and spying by the government where you live? Check again. You don't have to look too hard to find about every country in the "free world" is actively looking at ways to spy on their citizens and limit their access. Countries like China and Iran are unique in that they decided to make their own non-Western controlled version of the same trap.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      " but are stuck with a crap theocratic government through little fault of their own."

      Inaction is consent. Syrians resist their government The vast majority of Iranians do not.

      The way to be rid of such a toxic government is revolution. Syrians are killing Assadists, killing their supporters, and bravely taking on tanks and AFVs in urban street fighting. Syrians figured out the solution to government thugs is to kill them, so they do.

      Ongoing thread at militaryphotos:

      http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showth [militaryphotos.net]

  • by braindrainbahrain (874202) on Monday August 06, 2012 @11:59AM (#40895475)

    Probably a lot cheaper than kajillions of $$$ spent on cyber defense...

    • by neurocutie (677249) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:11PM (#40895619)
      - no way it will reduce cybersecurity issues down to anything close to zero.

      - will isolate not only the people, but those Iranians working on science and technology, which will slow down their progress dramatically. Can't have it both ways...

    • Or they could just not connect computers running NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS to the fucking internet.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        FYI, those computers weren't connected to the internet. Stuxnet jumped via flash-drive. So this really doesn't solve that problem at all.

        • So you fill all usb ports not used for your keyboard with epoxy

          • by Shoten (260439)

            So you fill all usb ports not used for your keyboard with epoxy

            Uh...and what keeps a person from plugging a USB hub into that port, and their keyboard into the USB hub along with whatever other naughtiness they have in mind?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Eventually some technician will plugin a computer to the power plant network that was plugged into a computer plugged into a usb stick plugged into a computer that was plugged into the internet. The computers in the plant probably never get updated, cause afterall how do you download updates with no internet?

        • You also don't allow random assholes at the nuclear power plant to hook up a random computer to the same network. You can have the secretaries and such using their own machines on a different network if you must, but you don't allow them to connect to the same network as the important machines.
    • Re:Saving Cash! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Shoten (260439) on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:00PM (#40896985)

      ...and doing no good.

      The Stuxnet and Flame malware payloads were not just unleashed on the open Internet to find their way to Iran. The infection pattern of both of them indicates that they are targeted...and that means delivery via geographic means. In other words, human assets with hands on keyboards, and no degree of network separation has any effect on that. In fact, airgapping a network actually reduces your ability to fight against the consequences of an attack in many ways. (Ask anyone who's had to clean up an infection that got onto an airgapped network via an infected laptop.) Now granted, with regard to Flame, if there's no way to call home, there's no way to exfiltrate data using a direct network connection. But that doesn't mean that an attacker can't build themselves a nice nest egg of data on a hard drive to take with them.

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:03PM (#40895521) Homepage
    Tough break for the Iranian people, but like other countries with draconian Internet access policies I suspect that a way will be found. As Cuba's government found out; you should never underestimate the ability of large numbers of USB sticks gifted by benefactors to facilitate the free flow of restricted information; it just takes a little longer, that's all. For the rest of us though, this is excellent news. When the next cyber-weapon gets loose on the the Iranian "Halal-net", or whatever the regime is referring to it as this week, we can sleep easy knowing that our industrial control systems are already air-gapped from the Iranian ones. With that element of risk removed, I suspect the next attack on Iranian infrastructure probably isn't going to be quite so "restrained" as the last few have been.
    • by vlm (69642)

      With that element of risk removed, I suspect the next attack on Iranian infrastructure probably isn't going to be quite so "restrained" as the last few have been.

      Yeah keep thinking that. (Insert Iranian accent:)

      "What did the infidels do this time, my centrifuge PLC is Fed again, at least it's not AC/DC playing "Thunderstruck" like last time. Well, lets start up internet explorer and unplug it from halalnet and plug it into the internet so I can google the PLC error message code and download another copy of the .iso install image from the pirate bay of the PLC control software because I lost my copy. (five minutes later) WTF Al Jazzera is reporting a nuke plant in

    • by tokul (682258)

      As Cuba's government found out; you should never underestimate the ability of large numbers of USB sticks gifted by benefactors to facilitate the free flow of restricted information; it just takes a little longer, that's all.

      USA can improve information flow, if they recall embargos placed on Cuba. If Cuba is sponsor of terrorism, then its Northern neighbor is not any better.

      • by vlm (69642)

        As Cuba's government found out; you should never underestimate the ability of large numbers of USB sticks gifted by benefactors to facilitate the free flow of restricted information; it just takes a little longer, that's all.

        USA can improve information flow, if they recall embargos placed on Cuba. If Cuba is sponsor of terrorism, then its Northern neighbor is not any better.

        I don't think you understand the point of the embargo... if 300 million gringos found out they could get better medical care for free 90 miles from Florida it would be an economic catastrophe in the US. The wall is to keep us out, not them in.

        • I don't think you understand the point of the embargo... if 300 million gringos found out they could get better medical care for free 90 miles from Florida it would be an economic catastrophe in the US. The wall is to keep us out, not them in.

          Unfortunately, US health care is a like the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem:
          There was a little girl,
          Who had a little curl,
          Right in the middle of her forehead.
          When she was good,
          She was very good indeed,
          But when she was bad she was horrid.

          This allows the political elite to convince themselves and a sizeable proportion of the masses that they have the best medical system in the world.

      • So, let's examine the logic here. How can INFORMATION flow be improved, by repealing PRODUCT embargoes on Cuba? We already have a free internet. Cuba chooses to censor that internet and deny its citizens potentially harmful thought. Why could this be so? Could it be that Cuba could discover that better systems are available, and that it's totally bogus that their countrymen are imprisoned just because they disobey the authorities [monstersandcritics.com]?

        For your second sentence, it's the false equivalency so beloved these d

        • by tokul (682258)

          For your second sentence, it's the false equivalency so beloved these days. If Party A does something bad, and Party B does something bad, then Party A's evil is totally excused by Party B's actions.

          In older days people would say "pot, met kettle"

      • Maybe I am way off on this, but I think the embargoes on Cuba are going to slowly start loosening up. We have to reach a point where the demographic in power in the US just can't come up with a good reason as to why we are still doing it. (I am not saying that the reasons now are good, just that they can convince themselves that they are).
    • We could also have done that by not having our industrial control systems connected to the internet in the first place.
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:04PM (#40895541)

    The US began offensive cyber-attacks against Iran during the presidency of George W. Bush when the Olympics Games project was founded.

    Gee, the IOC is going to be cross beyond compare for this. It's their trademark! You can't even claim that this activity belongs to a non-competing field, since both this and the IOC activities are about profiting from being generally sleazy. See you in court.

  • I have to agree with them. Very smart move, and one that will followed by everyone, except of course "Common Wealth". And that is the naked truth, only an idiot would allow a foreign government (USA with their monopoly over key server services) to have such an useful tool for propagating their ideas and policy. Soon, thanks to USA corrupted government, every country will have its own intranet. And that actually would be very good idea.
    • by Jeremi (14640)

      I have to agree with them. Very smart move, and one that will followed by everyone

      I don't think it will work, though -- a country-sized Intranet is an indefensibly large target. All it takes is one connection to the outside world, and the spooks can come right back in through that connection. In a country the size of Iran, what are the odds that some desperate/clever Iranian won't set up a satellite dish or something to get access to the outside world? And even if they don't, it wouldn't be too difficult for a spook to come in and set up one up.

      I think at best this will only harm Iran

    • by umghhh (965931)
      this is funny somehow it is always US gov that is corrupt and guilty.I think they are guilty of number of evil things and a lots of misery is caused by silly but systematic actions of US authorities yet claiming they are guilty of any silly thing is just - well - silly.I think Iran would end up this way w/o involvement of US authorities - it just lies in the nature of authoritarian regimes that they do not trust anybody and this often enuff results in paranoia. This will have negative effect mostly on them
      • by stanlyb (1839382)
        When you say that the authoritarian regimes don't trust anybody you mean US governement??? Oh, i forgot, they trust you, keep taking pictures of the police, and keep protest, peacefully of course. And keep swimming, it is not a fish.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:06PM (#40895563) Journal

    Better censorship and surveillance.

    Remember, this is the country "in which there are no gay people".

  • If governments continue fighting "cyber wars" - or trying to hack other governments' strategic assets, then we can expect more countries to decide not to play. So while it may seem like a good idea to attack countries that a particular government decides it doesn't like, the end result won't hurt that country's rulers at all. In fact the lasting effect could (if handled properly by the "victim's" government-run news agency - and there won;t be many others left when the internet goes <pop>) be that th

    • by Vancorps (746090)

      That would never happen, think of all of the lost profit. Multi-national corporations would have so much more logistical work to do.

      The walled-garden approach only works for so long, the best scientific feats ever created were the result of multiple countries working together. I give you, the Internet!

      Of course your statement about hacking Internet connected assets is kind of moot since all intelligence work leads to strengthening of security system whether they in the cyber-world or the real world. This

    • by HiThere (15173)

      The thing is, setting up information barriers slows scientific and technical progress. This results in the country being less powerful.

      China can probably get away with this. They are a large enough country that they can probably keep up with the rest of the world on their own. For anyone else, including the US, which is SMALL compared to the world, this is unlikely to work. And even China would suffer...note that their "Great Firewall" tries to be specific about what kinds of information it censors. Th

  • by Thruen (753567) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:09PM (#40895603)
    Even if it is just the excuse they're going to use in order to cut off a widely used means of communication, it's hard to argue against the reasoning. If they were going to stop at taking government facilities off the Internet and move them to a closed network, I'd even believe it really is about protecting themselves from foreign governments launching cyber attacks. I'm not saying this wouldn't have happened anyway, but they do have a great argument against people who see it for what it almost certainly is: a way to better control and monitor communications nationwide.
    • by Jeng (926980)

      Wasn't stuxnet delivered via thumb drive?

      • by Thruen (753567)
        Yes I believe that's true, but that's just one example, albeit an infamous one. When they're looking for a reason, that might matter. But what they're looking for is an excuse and any cyberattack is enough for that.
  • by retech (1228598) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:14PM (#40895667)
    Why does the US or any gov. allow key systems to be on the WWW? I'm often baffled when I read stories of a key system going down because it was hacked, or ddos, or virus, or etc... Take the power grid and missle defense systems. Why would those computers need net access? A closed net yes. But when you read that people working there are surfing porn you know full well this is a wide open access. So what benefit can outweigh this security risk?
  • by fnj (64210) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:16PM (#40895681)

    Does this clueless evil troglodyte think cutting the routers at the border is going to do anything to stop the pwning of his puny infrastructure?

    Iranian prisoners^W citizens: time to take this putz and the whole putrid middle ages mullahtocracy out. With extreme prejudice.

  • Epic Plan fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maroberts (15852) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:18PM (#40895715) Homepage Journal

    Walk over Iranian border with virus laden USB key, plug into Iranian Internet and reinfect at will. Has the added benefit that Iranian intranet, being reasonably isolated from the outside world, won't infect computers on the real internet as often.

  • However this move is just the initial step in an 18 month plan to take the country off the world wide web, and replace it with a state-controlled intranet.

    Here's an interesting alternative viewpoint. Everywhere I've worked for 20 years has had airgapped production and IT networks. If not airgap and ridiculously hardened firewall between them. Other than when I worked for Uncle Sam in the early 90s none of these have been "defense" or "secret" networks, just good ole american factories and communications companies, so there's nothing overly secret about this. The interesting alternative viewpoint is that airgapped prod networks are over 20 years old and ap

  • While the CIA has a pretty terrible track record with respect to third world citizenry, one has to give credit to the ostensibly altruistic internet in a suitcase [occupycorporatism.com]. It would be an excellent "weapon" in situations like this where the ability to connect would support a movement of the people, whether it be aligned with USA interests or not.
  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:38PM (#40895971)

    10 - 15 years ago I remember professors and others ranting and raving that the internet would usher in a new era of free flow of ideas around the world and because of the way the internet was designed it could not be filtered or stopped. Which given the cost of computing at the time seemed reasonable.

    But by 2002 that had all changed. I remember taking a class which the professor had been teach philosophy and computers for close to 20 years at that point. He went into the theory behind "hyper linked text" and the idea and concept of what the "world wide web" originally meant to people like him. The closest thing we have to their philosophical idea today is wikipedia where you can go read an page with links to other pages about related topics/events/etc..

    By that time "surfing the web" was not a web of interlinked hypertext, but was a rather linear experience. The research at the time showed this was how most peopl thought and used the web and was reflected in general web site design espcially of corporate sites and news sites. Fast forward 10 years later and now we have apps on our phones. Many of those apps rely on the underlying protocols of the internet, but most take you to a single site or service.

    Back to the original point though was this idea that all information wanted to be free and would be free. To the academics the genie was out of the bottle and would never be put back in. My professor thought otherwise and that we'd see a slow march towards fragmenation as the powers that be learned to tame the beast.

    Then came China who seemed to do it with the great firewall. Are the chinese 100% effective? No. But you don't have to be 100% just effective enough. Once they did it and proved it could be done other countries started erecting national filters, firewalls, and monitoring equipment.

    Now China has something the Iranians do not: a billion people. That is a critical mass for a user base and something Iran doesn't have. But, if the Iranians do prove it can be done effectively, and there will be a lot of other countries watching, then it's likely we'll see the end of the internet as we know it over the next 10 - 15 years as more countries and groups will create their own private networks which they can control.

    • by rabtech (223758)

      Well good for us then; they'll be hobbled with baby versions of a state-controlled Internet and the rest of us will be benefitting from the real thing, assuming there is an actual advantage (I believe there is).

      That is if libertarians* and conservatives don't succeed in reverting us to a corporatist theocracy, dominated by telco/cableco dualopolies.

      At least when the liberals screw you they whisper sweet nothings and buy you a new dress. The conservatives smack you around and call you a whore.

      * real free mar

    • I think you're being impatient.

      Give it time.  I don't think it can be stopped, in the end.  Only slowed down.

      Extrapolate the amount of "online-ness" in the world from 2000 to today to twenty years from now and I think you'll see what I mean.
  • by Tony Isaac (1301187) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:36PM (#40896681) Homepage

    One of the key hallmarks of the Internet is its resilience. As other oppressive regimes have learned the hard way, it's really, really difficult to censor the Internet. All it takes is a few gutsy people (who are never in short supply) to provide links to the outside world, and there goes the Intranet firewall. I'll bet that even elements within the Iranian government will find the lure of the Internet too powerful to resist. Iran won't be able to close off the Internet, any more than the Soviet Union could censor faxes during the Cold War.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:37PM (#40896689)

    So they went for the Battlestar Galactica solution: no networked computers. I can't say I blame them.

  • Nice exuse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fa2k (881632) <pmbjornstad@NOspam.gmail.com> on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:04PM (#40897025)

    And as a "side benefit", many Iranian people previously entrusted with internet access can no longer see independent (non-censored_ information.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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