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[liberationtech] Libtech Codified Into Sanctions Regime Exemptions

Collin Anderson collin at
Thu May 30 03:10:01 PDT 2013


Today, the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control is
set to announce the lifting of sanctions of certain types of personal
communications technologies, including reportedly for the first time
commercial products such as mobile phones [1]. In a less noticed move,
while Canada increased its sanctions against Iran, the Foreign Affairs and
International Trade included an exemption for:

*(a) equipment, services and software that facilitate secure and widespread
communications via information technologies, or the provision or
acquisition of financial services in relation to such equipment, services
and software, provided that an export permit has been issued in respect of
any goods listed in the Guide; *[2]

This is critical and did not happen in isolation -- for the past few years,
civil society has pushed for larger legal exemptions for the available of
communications technology, and for vendors to take advantage of those
authorizations that are granted [3].

I want to convene to Libtech the immensity of these achievements, access to
information technology is now on par with humanitarian assistance for two
major export control regimes. While not receiving as much attention as
CISIPA, this was a long endeavour for civil society and a significant
accomplishment. This is just the beginning -- the burden now is shifted to
companies such as Google, GoDaddy and Oracle who have poor track records
when it comes allowing services to Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan [4].
However, on the whole, the actions demonstrate exactly what the perceived
place of the Internet is in the lives of people in places like Iran.



*Collin David Anderson* | @cda | Washington, D.C.
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