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US Allows Tech Firms, SpaceX's Starlink To Expand Internet Services To Iran

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The White House is responding to Iran’s efforts to restrict internet access by permitting tech companies to expand online services to the country.

The Biden administration is doing so through a Treasury Dept. “General License” that permits(Opens in a new window) US tech companies to deliver communications services, such as social media apps, video conferencing software and even online gaming to Iran.

The license effectively creates an exemption to the US’s strict sanctions against the country, which have previously barred technology sales.  “We are taking this step against a stark backdrop,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement(Opens in a new window). “The Iranian government has cut off access to the internet for most of its 80 million citizens to prevent them —and the world— from watching its violent crackdown on peaceful protestors.” One company already seems ready to serve users in Iran.

On Friday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted(Opens in a new window) “Activating Starlink…” a reference to the company’s satellite internet service, which can supply high-speed broadband to many locations across the planet.

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