Iran calls it the “soft war” with the West: Battles to control defend and monitor the Internet and other high-level telecommunications. The move came quietly when the powerful Revolutionary Guard recently launched what it claims is a hack-proof communications network for its high-level commanders.
Largely overshadowed by the showdowns over Iran s nuclear program the efforts to build a cyber-fortress have become a priority among leaders fearful of Internet espionage and virus attacks from abroad and seeking to choke off opposition outlets at home.
The drive also highlights the stepped up attempts by many nations — particularly across the Middle East — to filter the web after social networking sites played such a crucial role in the Arab Spring uprisings.
“We are not in an imaginary state of threats or sanctions “ Revolutionary Guard Deputy Cmdr. Hossein Salami told Guard leaders in late March as he inaugurated the new closed communications system called “Basir” or Perspective. The system is vaguely described as a something akin to a closed mobile phone network possibly involving special relay towers and passcodes.