Is Iran finally about to block outside Internet access?

For the past year or so, there have been tons of media reports surrounding a plan by the Iranian government to cut off access to the rest of the world's Internet and put up their own national net service In April, the Iranian government said that those reports were false and were in fact generated by "the propaganda wing of the West."

Now Reuters is reporting that the government of Iran is in fact going ahead with plans to launch its own internal Internet service. The story says that a government deputy minister made a statement on Sunday, saying, "In recent days, all governmental agencies and offices ... have been connected to the national information network."

Ordinary Iranian residents will gain access to the country's national Internet by March 2013, according to the government official's statement. Iran briefly cut off access to a number of outside Internet services in February, although some citizens were able to access those sites via VPN connections.

In a separate announcement, the Iranian government-run TV network sent out a statement on Sunday saying, "Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice." This move is believed to be related to the YouTube trailer for the film "Innocence of Muslims."

Source: Reuters
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