Iran’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has announced that it’ll launch Islamic Google Earth within four months.
The Iranian authorities have accused Google Earth as a tool for western spy agencies for a long time. But Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Nami, a former deputy chairman of Iran’s joint chiefs of staff and the armed forces, and was appointed as the new information and communications technology minister of Iran in February by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced last Tuesday that his country had been developing Basir (spectator in Farsi), an “Islamic Google Earth” silently and it’ll be ready for use “within the next four months.”
Nami said, “On the surface, Google Earth is providing a service to users, but in reality security and intelligence organisations are behind it in order to obtain information from other countries. We are doing our best to launch the Islamic Google Earth in the next four months as an Islamic republic’s national portal, providing service on a global scale. Preparations have been made for launching our world’s 3D map project and we are currently creating an appropriate data center which could be capable of processing this volume of information. We are developing this service with the Islamic views we have in Iran and we will put a kind of information on our website that would take people of the world towards reality … Our values in Iran are the values of God and this would be the difference between Basir and the Google Earth, which belongs to the ominous triangle of the US, England and the Zionists.”
Interestingly, some experts have serious doubts about the project. An IT consultant who has worked on Iran’s national internet project in the past said that the announcement was merely an excuse to obtain funds and secure working contracts for the future. He added, “They have claimed to run their service in four months and said their data center capacity will reach Google’s size in three years. Three-year project, no business model and only relying on government funding, a piece of cake indeed … To have a data center with such capacity and security level they need power stations, cooler systems, bandwidth, etc, which will require billions of dollars of investment that doesn’t fit with Iran’s sanctions-hit economy. I believe they are aware of the project’s restrictions and their capabilities. They are only looking for the budget and upcoming contracts.”
Besides, many people are assuming that the purpose of creating Islamic Google Earth is a new way of attacking.
To know the real facts, we’ll have to wait no more than four months. Whether you smell anything fishy or not, you can share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.