Is Iran Going To Dump the Web and Launch Its Own National Internet?

Iran isn't a nation known for its liberal outlook on life. So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that the country may soon pull out of the Internet and launch its own national network instead.

The Guardian reports that Iran has been running a series of proof-of-concept tests for a national internet. The country-wide network, which would replace services run through the world wide web, is being planned by Iran's ministry of information and communication technology, according to sources in Iran.

If that's not draconian enough, the nation has also recently clamped down on cyber cafe use. (Ah, cyber cafes. Remember them?) According to the Guardian an Iranian police statement mandates:

"Internet cafes are required to write down the forename, surname, name of the father, national identification number, post code and telephone number of each customer.

"Besides the personal information, they must maintain other information of the customer such as the date and the time of using the internet and the IP address, and the addresses of the websites visited. They should keep these informations for each individuals for at least six months."

Please, Iran: don't ban the internet. [The Guardian; Image: Overig]