Title: U.S. Treasury Allows Personal Communication Exports to Sudan
Author: wall street online journal
Date: 02-18-2015, 11:41 PM
11:41 PM Feb, 18 2015
wall street online journal-
My Library at SudaneseOnline
By SAMUEL RUBENFELD
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s sanctions office issued a general license allowing exports to Sudan that would help Sudan’s people communicate with each other.
Modeled on exports to Iran allowed by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control since May 2013 (and expanded in February 2014), the general license allows services, software and hardware “incident to personal communications” to be exported to Sudan. Among the items now authorized for export to Sudan are mobile phones, satellite phones, radio equipment, modems, laptops, anti-tracking software and anti-censorship tools, along with support systems for their use. Companies can also export fee-based services under the license.
“These changes are consistent with the U.S. government’s commitment to the free flow of information to facilitate communications by the Sudanese people,” said a Treasury spokeswoman, in an email.
Collin Anderson, an independent researcher who focuses on cyber issues, said the general license covering Sudan is an extension of policies that started in Iran. The Obama administration, he said, has stated in recent years that Internet access shouldn’t be restricted due to U.S. sanctions policy.
“These sanctions changes are fundamentally about ensuring that people stay connected, irrespective of the regulatory environment,” he said.
To that point, a statement posted on Facebook by Jerry Lanier, chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Sudan, said the U.S. regulatory changes came after consultations with Sudanese civil society organizations, religious leaders and local leaders, who said the Sudanese people were suffering from a lack of free flow of information.
“I believe [the license] will give Sudanese students, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, journalists, civic leaders and others better access to the telecommunications tools they need to study, create, grow and serve their communities. It will ease some of the difficulties in daily life faced by Sudanese people, and in a way that enhances their communications and relationship with the American people,” said Mr. Lanier in the statement.
Write to Samuel Rubenfeld at mailto:[email protected]@wsj.com. Follow him on Twitter at @srubenfeld.
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