Friday, 23 March 2012

US Announce Fresh Guidelines for Iranian Internet Sanctions

The United States Department of the Treasury revealed on Tuesday that new guidelines are being unveiled in terms of what US applications and services is allowable as part of the country’s sanctions towards Iran. Through the years there has been numerous grievances that the restrictions on web solutions, such as web hosting from Blue host, in Iran has limited communication and hindered the work of reform activists within the nation. The subsequent technologies, software and solutions are now permissible in Iran, as part of the much less limited recommendations:

-Browsers (e.g IE9, Chrome, Firefox)
-File Programs like Adobe Acrobat Reader
-Messenger Systems like Skype, Windows live, Google Talk
-Data Storage areas
-RSS Feeds and Aggregators
-Plug-ins such as
Adobe’s Flash Player

In the past, in a law which has been in force since 1997, the definition of the sanctions resulted in no solutions, goods or technologies could possibly be supplied to Iran. This resulted in many, including internet hosting providers like Blue host, to turn off all connections to the Islamic state.

The outcome of those actions has, as I have said, really constrained and restricted the capability of democracy and reform activists in the country to coordinate, which clearly wasn’t the intention behind the law. The Obama administration’s newest statement to help define the guidelines better is to help encourage companies to offer the Iranian people with at least some fundamental internet functions, which under no circumstances conflicts with the overall spirit to help keep sanctions on the regime in the country.

It is a difficult balancing act of course, and far more strategic thinking is needed to make certain that the sanctions both do what they're designed to do and isolate Iran politically and financially, but additionally not stop the ability for the Iranian people to openly express themselves and assist them to convey their opinions freely as well as aiding the organization of opposition groups.

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