Supporting the right of Iranians to communicate freely online, unimpeded by Iranian government censorship or U.S. sanctions, is one of NIAC’s top human rights priorities. That is why we are pleased to share the latest step in the campaign to remove U.S. sanctions that have made it easier for the Iranian government to censor and repress its population online.
Late last week, 21 Members of Congress sent a letter calling on the Biden administration to eliminate sanctions that help block Iranians from accessing a free Internet. The full text of the letter can be found here and also below.
NIAC chapters across the country urged their Representatives to sign on to the letter, which was backed by both Republicans and Democratic legislators, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).
As detailed in NIAC’s recent report, “The Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Internet Access in Iran,” and expert panel discussion (which can also be viewed below), U.S. sanctions force tech companies including Apple, Google, and Amazon to block Iranians from accessing their tools and services. This has punished Iranian entrepreneurs, cut off tools for Iranians to circumvent government repression, and made it easier for the Iranian government to create a “national internet” to cut off Iranians’ access to the global internet at its discretion.
The Congressional letter notes these negative trends and encourages the Biden administration to take necessary steps to “ensure that certain information and communication technologies and Internet connectivity services are available to the Iranian people.” This important bipartisan backing from Congress brings us one major step closer to removing these harmful measures.
When the Iranian-American community comes together, we can do enormous work to protect our rights here at home and champion our values abroad.
That’s why we need you to write to President Biden in support of internet freedom. Your voice is integral in pushing the Biden administration to adopt the Connolly-Fitzpatrick letter’s critical recommendations. Take action here >
2021-10-08 Letter to Treasury and State to Enhance Internet Freedoms in Iran
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