I was initially excited, in the assumption that ‘Halal internet’ referred to a way of ordering mouth-watering kebabs online. Fast Company explains:
The Iranian government is planning to wall-off much of the country’s online access. A high-ranking Iranian official has their new solution: A “Halal Internet” that will run as a nationwide intranet and be subject to extensive censorship.
According to Iranian Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Ali Agha Mohammadi, the ”Halal Internet” project is expected to be completed in 18 months. Mohammadi explicitly cited China’s extensive internet controls as an inspiration for the project, which will be completed with the help of what the Minister calls “foreign consultants.”
Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Reza Taghipour Anvari is also on record as a supporter of the plan. Persian-language financial paper Donya e Eqtesad cited him as praising the nationwide intranet’s ability to censor “dirty and unethical” content.
In nearby Pakistan, Fast Company has already reported on the growth of explicitly Islam-oriented Facebook rival MillatFacebook. As for the Iranian government, they already have competition for the “Halal Internet” branding effort–a New Jersey-based firm called HalalGate already markets internet filtering software called HalalInternet.