ABC News: Iran Can Beat U.S.'s 'Internet in a Suitcase'

June 30th, 2011

Iranian Spy Chief: Iran Can Beat U.S.’s ‘Internet in a Suitcase’

PHOTO: An Iranian woman surfs the internet at a cyber cafe in central Tehran, in this January 24, 2011 photo.

An Iranian woman surfs the internet at a cyber cafe in central Tehran, in this January 24, 2011 photo, a day after Iran officially launched its cyber police unit to confront Internet crimes and counter social networks. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)
June 30, 2011

Iran has developed counter-measures to take on the “internet in a suitcase” program supposedly developed by the U.S. to bring online access to dissidents living under autocratic regimes, the country’s spy chief said.

“We had predicted these [U.S. devised] actions, for example the internet in suitcase, and devised proper ways to combat them,” Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said Wednesday, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

Funded in part by the U.S. State Department, the “internet in a suitcase” is part of a classified multi-platform telecommunications program led by the United States to provide dissidents around the world the ability to “undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks,” according to a report earlier this month by The New York Times.

But according to the Iranian report, the purpose of the program is actually to connect those dissidents directly with the CIA and is only a small front in the U.S. cyber confrontation mostly directed at Iran. The U.S. State Department confirmed the existence of the “internet in a suitcase” program after The Times report, but CIA declined to comment today on Iran’s ability to stop it.

Richard Clarke, former White House advisor on counter-terrorism and ABC News consultant, said he believes the U.S. does have the capability to deploy “internet in a suitcase” devices, but Iran is also probably capable of combating that particular tactic right now.  Read More…