The US Treasury Department has expanded the range of internet services available to Iranians amid protests across Iran following the death of a 22-year-old woman in hijab police custody.
In a statement issued on Friday, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, “As courageous Iranians take to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, the United States is redoubling its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people.”
Noting that the Treasury seeks to increase support for internet freedom in Iran through updating the license after Tehran cut off access to the internet for most of its citizens.
"With these changes, we are helping the Iranian people be better equipped to counter the government’s efforts to surveil and censor them," Adeyemo said, adding that Washington in coming weeks would continue to issue guidance.
According to the Treasury, Washington has long provided some internet-related exceptions to its sanctions on Iran, but Friday's update to the general license seeks to modernize them, adding that the new amendment includes social media platforms and video conferencing in its covered categories of software and services and gives additional authorizations for services that support communication tools to assist ordinary Iranians in "resisting repressive internet censorship and surveillance tools deployed by the Iranian regime."
The license also continues to authorize anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-tracking software, the Treasury added.