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[liberationtech] Internet/IB Mandates in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012

Andrew Lewis andrew at
Mon Jul 30 20:44:30 PDT 2012

What about Syria? All I see is Iran.

On Jul 30, 2012, at 10:46 PM, Collin Anderson wrote:

> Libtech,
> Foreign Policy released a copy of the compromise version of the upcoming Johnson/Ros-Lehtinen sanctions bill; expected to be legislatively passed in the next week. In true Congressional form, quite a portion of the mandates involve 'Internet Freedom' agenda items -- namely export regulation on sensitive technology, expanding content availability, International Broadcasting, and satellite jamming. 
> This is important. The State and Treasury Department will be tasked with addressing issues of 'dual use technologies' and digital security. While I appreciate the addition of §414(7)(B) for clarifying sanctions regulations, Congress has a part to play in ensuring clarity on the political boundaries of such exports.
> [PDF]
> (Introduction)
> It is the sense of Congress that the goal of compelling Iran to abandon efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability and other threatening activities can be effectively achieved through a comprehensive policy ... [a]mong the economic measures to be taken are—
> (4) a focus on countering Iran’s efforts to evade sanctions, including— 
> (A) the activities of telecommunications, Internet, and satellite service providers, in and outside of Iran, to ensure that such providers are not participating in or facilitating, directly or indirectly, the evasion of the sanctions regime with respect to Iran or violations of the human rights of the people of Iran;
> The Secretary of State shall—
> (1) not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, issue guidelines to further describe the technologies that may be considered ‘‘sensitive technology’’ for purposes of section 106 of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8515), with special attention to new forms of sophisticated jamming, monitoring, and surveillance technology relating to mobile telecommunications and the Internet, and publish those guidelines in the Federal Register; 
> (2) determine the types of technologies that enable any indigenous capabilities that Iran has to disrupt and monitor information and communications in that country, and consider adding descriptions of those items to the guidelines; and 
> (3) periodically review, but in no case less than once each year, the guidelines and, if necessary, amend the guidelines on the basis of technological developments and new information regarding transfers of technologies to Iran and the development of Iran’s indigenous capabilities to disrupt and monitor information and communications in Iran. 
> Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the heads of other Federal agencies, as appropriate, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a comprehensive strategy to— 
> (1) assist the people of Iran to produce, access, and share information freely and safely via the Internet, including in Farsi and regional languages; 
> (2) support the development of counter-censorship technologies that enable the citizens of Iran to undertake Internet activities without interference from the Government of Iran; 
> (3) increase the capabilities and availability of secure mobile and other communications through connective technology among human rights and democracy activists in Iran; 
> (4) provide resources for digital safety training for media and academic and civil society organizations in Iran; 
> (5) provide accurate and substantive Internet content in local languages in Iran; 
> (6) increase emergency resources for the most vulnerable human rights advocates seeking to organize, share information, and support human rights in Iran; 
> (7) expand surrogate radio, television, live stream, and social network communications inside Iran, including— 
> (A) by expanding Voice of America’s Persian News Network and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda to provide hourly live news update programming and breaking news coverage capability 24 hours a day and 7 days a week; and 
> (B) by assisting telecommunications and software companies that are United States persons to comply with the export licensing requirements of the United States for the purpose of expanding such communications inside Iran; 
> (8) expand activities to safely assist and train human rights, civil society, and democracy activists in Iran to operate effectively and securely; 
> (9) identify and utilize all available resources to overcome attempts by the Government of Iran to jam or otherwise deny international satellite broadcasting signals; 
> (10) expand worldwide United States embassy and consulate programming for and outreach to Iranian dissident communities; 
> (11) expand access to proxy servers for democacy activists in Iran; and 
> (12) discourage telecommunications and software companies from facilitating Internet censorship by the Government of Iran.
> Cordially,
> Collin
> -- 
> Collin David Anderson
> | @cda | Washington, D.C.
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