SUDAN WATCH: Obama allows internet tech exports to Iran, Cuba and Sudan

Monday, March 08, 2010

Obama allows internet tech exports to Iran, Cuba and Sudan

WASHINGTON will allow technology companies to export Internet services to Iran, Cuba and Sudan in a bid to exploit their libertarian potential, The New York Times reported late Sunday.

Full story here below, plus photos of Mia Farrow's recent visit to a refugee camp in Goz Beida, eastern Chad.

SLM in Jebel Marra in 2005

Photo: Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) militants in Jebel Marra in 2005. The United States called Thursday, 4 March 2010, for all Darfur rebel groups to play a role in talks on a peace agreement and said that people in the war-torn region needed to see concrete improvements in security. (AFP/File/Salah Omar Thu 4 Mar 2010 6:02 PM ET)

US to allow web service exports to strict nations
From AFP via The Age.com.au Monday, 8 March 2010:
Washington will allow technology companies to export Internet services to Iran, Cuba and Sudan in a bid to exploit their libertarian potential, The New York Times reported late Sunday.

"The more people have access to a range of Internet technology and services, the harder it's going to be for the Iranian government to clamp down on their speech and free expression," a senior administration official told the paper.

The Treasury Department will issue a general license Monday for exports of free personal Internet services such as instant messaging, chat and photo sharing as well as software to all three countries, said the unnamed official.

The move will allow Microsoft, Yahoo and other Internet services providers to get around strict export restrictions, the report said.

Until now they had resisted offering such services for fear of violating existing sanctions.

But there have been growing calls in Congress and elsewhere to lift the restrictions, particularly after Iran's post-election protests illustrated the power of Internet-based services such as Facebook and Twitter, The Times said.
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Mia Farrow visits refugee camp in Goz Beida, eastern Chad

Goz Beida, eastern Chad

Photo: UNICEF goodwill ambassador U.S. actress Mia Farrow addresses a group of internally displaced people on polio vaccination at a camp in Goz Beida, eastern Chad, near the border with Darfur, 02 March 2010. Farrow is on a week long visit to Chad to highlight the start of a nationwide polio vaccination campaign that it being launched at the end of this week. Chad had 65 cases of polio diagnosed last year amongst children and there is fear that it could spread. Picture taken March 2, 2010. (Reuters/Kate Holt/UNICEF/Handout)

Goz Beida, eastern Chad

Photo: A woman listens to UNICEF goodwill ambassador U.S. actress Mia Farrow, (not in the picture) talking about polio eradication at a community meeting in Goz Beida, eastern Chad, near the border with Darfur, 02 March 2010. Picture taken March 2, 2010. (Reuters/Kate Holt/UNICEF/Handout)

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