Trouble has come to Iran in the form of more restrictions of online activity. The Iranian government is now mandating that all Internet cafés collect identifying information about their customers’ personal data as well as a record of their Internet activity.

As of now, these Internet cafés will have to record the customers’ personal information, including full names, addresses, fathers’ names, national ID numbers, and phone numbers. They must also log the customers’ IP addresses as well as each website the customers visit. All of this information must be retained for at least six months.

All of this is just a forerunner to Iran’s impending national intranet. The country appears to be tired of the influences of Western cultures. They have resolved to create their own national internet for controlling their citizens’ online activities even further. There have already been talks of installing software in this network to monitor chats and emails.

Most of this comes on the heels of the controversial 2009 elections in which citizens took to their social networks in protest. Protestors and bloggers were warned that any attempt to mock or instigate boycotts would be considered a criminal offense. This just another example of why most of our readers should be more than thankful for the freedoms we have and not take them for granted. No one ever said freedom was free.