September 23, 2022

Update on Internet Freedom Efforts

This morning, the Department of Treasury heeded the calls of our community to enhance internet freedom in Iran at a critical time when people are in the streets demanding justice for the killing of Mahsa (Jhina) Amini.

For years, NIAC and others have fought hard to update and expand U.S. licenses to exempt internet communication tools from Iran sanctions. Today, the Biden administration answered our calls by broadening exemptions to support social media, cloud technology, and other internet-based software that will better enable the Iranian people to get around their government’s censorship and counter future efforts to shut down the internet.

I want to be clear: this is an important victory that was only possible because we organized and mobilized our community. Yesterday, we supported a bipartisan letter on Capitol Hill to support internet freedom in Iran, and thousands of NIAC members sent messages to lawmakers and the White House reiterating our support for this important action.

We applaud the administration for taking this action at this important time as Iranians continue to bravely confront oppression, demand justice for Mahsa (Jhina) Amini, and fight for their rights as human beings. We are analyzing today’s license and reviewing it with tech experts and stakeholders to ensure it meets the needs of the Iranian people. And we will continue to monitor the evolving events in Iran, as well as in Washington, and give you updates as more develops.

In the meantime, please continue to send in your heartfelt stories and thoughts, we’re reading through them.

Thank you for being part of our NIAC family.

Jamal Abdi
President, NIAC

P.S. To learn more about the importance of today’s action, read NIAC’s August 2021 report: The Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Internet Access in Iran.

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