Iran has threatened in recent days to shut itself off from the Internet and replace the global network with its own national, government-approached network. But can that actually work? According to David Talbot, Iran could technically shut itself off but censorship expert Hal Roberts thinks they might not want to:
But as China has come to realize (see our feature on the Chinese way of Internet control), their economy has come to depend on the Internet. Business, not just dissidents, need the global connections. And this is true in Iran, too, sanctions notwithstanding. So as Roberts put it: “The much more interesting, important, and difficult question is whether shutting its citizens off from the rest of the Internet for an extended period would be socially, economically, and politically feasible for the Iranian government.”It would be feasible, if its vision for the future is turning into another North Korean-style Hermit Kingdom.