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U.S. to allow exports of Facebook, blogs, e-mail to Iran, Cuba and Sudan

The U.S. government on Monday lifted a ban on Web exports to Iran, Sudan and Cuba in an effort to bring freedom to communicate to those nations.

In a release, the Treasury Department said it has granted U.S. companies general licenses to deliver instant messaging, chat, e-mail and social networking to those nations.

“Consistent with the administration’s deep commitment to the universal rights of all the world’s citizens, the issuance of these general licenses will make it easier for individuals in Iran, Sudan and Cuba to use the Internet to communicate with each other and the outside world,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin.

The technology licenses also include photo and video sharing software, Web browsing technology and blogging platforms.

Wolin said the administration will move to lift its export restriction on such technologies after seeing the power of social media during civilian demonstrations during the Iranian elections last year. People on the ground used the micro-blogging site Twitter to report events on the ground and to organize rallies against the government.

Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced an agenda of Internet freedoms in direct protest of government censoring in China and other nations. Google said in January it would pull its business operations out of China because the nation was forcing it to censor search results. The company hasn’t withdrawn its business there and said it hopes to work with the Chinese government and not practice censorship.

By Cecilia Kang  |  March 8, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  International  
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Comments

FACEBOOK COLLECTS FANTASTIC AMOUNTS OF DATA ON EACH USER. FAKEBOOK USES THAT DATA TO YOUR LOSS, HOUSING COST GOES UP, ALL STANDARD FARE. IN CHINA PEOPLE JOIN UP & SIMPLY NEVER POST AGAIN, DISSAPPEARED.

FEELING SAFE IS NOT THAT SAFE. FACEBOOK COULD SELL ALL DATA TO ANYONE., NEW CLEAVOR DATA TRAP COULD SNIPE MILLIONS AT TIME. ALL SET UP & LEGALLY PROPOGATED BY FACEBOOK, YET APPEARING TO BE FAULT OF NEW OWNER.

Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.

Posted by: thomasxstewart1 | March 8, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Can we note that this policy change is due in part to PRC criticism of the US policies that were changed? Too bad they're never willing to listen and act in a similar manner.

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