As a way to control its citizens' internet consumption, Iran is introducing "halal internet".
Previously, Iranian intelligence agents have raided homes of those they suspect, to get username and passwords to emails used for social media accounts. Here, the Islamic Republic has demonstrated how much threat the internet has given it.
Over the years, authorities have encouraged Iranians to use the internet, in the hopes to benefit a more modern society. As a result, more than half of Iran's population have internet-connected smartphones. The growth was benefited from the administration of President Hasan Rouhani who is a relative moderate within Iran's system.
But this gave the Government drawbacks as it struggled to constrain its citizens' internet consumption.
One of the prominent affect the internet gave to the government, was protests that happened across Iran. The government succeeded in containing the spread by shutting down major social networks and messaging apps. But still, the internet itself was still considered a threat since it has the power to fuel revolts.
To address this issue,. the authorities have created "halal net," which is Iran's own locally controlled version of the internet that focuses on restricting what its citizens can see and use. It's an evolution of how the government control the media, into what's known as Iran's National Information Network (NIN).
Iran is known for its 1979 Islamic Revolution, and how the government controls mass media and information. Since that time, all information from mass media has been tightly controlled.
While the spread of the internet has helped both the Iran's government to spy on its internal rivals. But at the same time, also gave access to the West, mainly the U.S. to spy on its internet usage. And here, the "halal net", which first came as an idea after then 2009 protest, is meant to govern all connection.
The government thinks that the control of the internet is crucial for its future, whether the move means greater openness or sealing itself from the world.
It resembles China's “Great Firewall,” which blocks access to thousands of websites, from Facebook to Twitter to some news websites.