US allows tech firms to boost internet access in Iran - worldsnews
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US allows tech firms to boost internet access in Iran

Washington, D.C. The Treasury Department said on Friday that American tech companies will be permitted to increase their operations in Iran, where most internet access has been restricted in reaction to anti-government demonstrations.

Iran has cracked down on protesters who were outspoken about Mahsa Amini's death, 22, while under the morality police's care. According to reports from Iranian state television, up to 26 protestors and police have died since the violence started over the weekend.

Assisting in thwarting government monitoring operations, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is the goal of the action.

In a message sent by email, Blinken stated, "It is obvious that the Iranian regime is terrified of its own people. Mahsa Amini was cruelly and senselessly killed, and now the government is retaliating against nonviolent protestors who are outraged about her death.

Amini was held by the morality police last week on the grounds that she had not worn the Islamic hijab—a headscarf—properly. Amini passed just three days after collapsing at a police station.

On Thursday, the morality police and the heads of other law enforcement organizations became subject to U.S. penalties.

A revised general license, which was given on Friday, according to the Treasury Department, allows IT companies to offer more social media and collaboration platforms, video conferencing, and cloud-based services.

The revised license also does away with the requirement that communications be "personal," which Treasury claimed burdened businesses by requiring them to confirm the messages' intent.

In a statement, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo stated, "As brave Iranians take to the streets to condemn the killing of Mahsa Amini, the United States is redoubling its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people."

"By making these improvements, we are giving the Iranian people stronger tools to fight back against the attempts of the regime to monitor and censor them."

Amini's death is the subject of a request for an inquiry from the UN.

Lifting limits will enable Iranians to get beyond censorship, according to exiled Iranian Amir Rashidi, director of internet security and digital rights at Miaan Group.

He said that it will guarantee the security and safety of Iranians. Because your data is protected by international law when you are outside of Iran, Iranian security agents cannot access it in an unauthorized manner.

In order to encourage the free flow of information to Iranian citizens, Treasury's sanctions arm issued a license in 2014 allowing the sale to Iran of software and services that would provide unrestricted internet communication.

Even still, American businesses have been hesitant to conduct business in Iran out of concern that they would break any laws or sanctions that carry a penalty.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced on Monday that his satellite internet company, Starlink, will apply for a license to operate in Iran. Jake Sullivan, a national security advisor, stated that Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control will determine the course of action for Starlink.

The administration's ambitions to re-enter the Iran nuclear agreement are unaffected by the action, according to the White House, which also noted a recent escalation in penalties.

Although the Iran deal "is the greatest option for us to handle the nuclear problem," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged that "we do have concerns about Iran."