Admin l Friday, September 23, 2022
WASHINGTON – As protests intensify in Iran, following the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini by Morality Police for alleged improper wearing of hijab, the U.S Treasury Department has issued Iran General License (GL) D-2 to increase support for internet freedom.
The U.S reacted when the government of Iran blocked internet access since the issuance of Iran Gl D-1 as protest intensify amidst dozens of killings.The (GL) D-2 is an upgrade in line with modern technology.
“On Wednesday, the Iranian government cut off access to the Internet for most of its 80 million citizens to prevent the world from watching its violent crackdown on peaceful protestors sparked by the brutal death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s Morality Police”, the department said.
It noted that while Iran’s government is cutting off its people’s access to the global internet, the United States is taking action to support the free flow of information and access to fact-based information to the Iranian people.
“The updated guidance will authorize technology companies to offer the Iranian people with more options of secure, outside platforms and services”, the statement said, adding “As courageous Iranians take to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, the United States is redoubling its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.
“Today, Treasury is announcing the expansion of Iran General License D-2, which will expand the range of internet services available to Iranians. With these changes, we are helping the Iranian people be better equipped to counter the government’s efforts to surveil and censor them. In the coming weeks, OFAC will continue issuing guidance to support the Administration’s commitment to promoting the free flow of information, which the Iranian regime has consistently denied to its people.”
The expanded GL tackles the following key issues:
Adds covered categories of software/services to include social media platforms, collaboration platforms, video conferencing, as well as cloud-based services in support of such services, as well as tools that incorporate communication functions and are often included with authorized items or services (e.g., online maps, e-gaming, e-learning platforms, automated translation, web maps, and user authentication services)
Provides additional authorization for the services that support the communication tools to assist ordinary Iranians in resisting repressive internet censorship and surveillance tools deployed by the Iranian regime.
GL D-2 continues to authorize anti-virus and anti-malware software; anti-tracking software; mobile operating systems and related software; anti-censorship tools and related software; Virtual Private Network (VPN) client software; and related software. These tools protect the ability of Iranians to engage in free expression and bravely resist regime oppression.
It also removes the requirement to verify communications, which are “personal” in nature, in line with similar licenses in other OFAC programs.