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US lifts web comms sanctions on Cuba, Iran, Sudan

The United States has lifted sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Sudan for personal Internet-based communications services.On Monday, the US Treasury said it was amending sanctions regulations for these countries "to ensure that individuals in these countries can exercise their universal right to free speech and information to the greatest extent possible".
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

The United States has lifted sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Sudan for personal Internet-based communications services.

On Monday, the US Treasury said it was amending sanctions regulations for these countries "to ensure that individuals in these countries can exercise their universal right to free speech and information to the greatest extent possible".

"Consistent with the [US] 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 with the outside world," deputy treasury secretary Neal Wolin said in a statement. "Today's actions will enable Iranian, Sudanese and Cuban citizens to exercise their most basic rights."

The amendments allow a variety of US-based internet services to be offered in Cuba, Iran and Sudan, including instant messaging, chat, email, social networking, web browsing, blogging and photo and movie sharing software.

Wolin referred to the high-profile use of Twitter by the opposition during the recent Iranian elections and noted that, despite the easing of certain sanctions on Monday, the US would "continue aggressively to enforce existing sanctions" on Iran.

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