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 sparked by the brutal death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s Morality Police. “Mahsa Amini is senselessly, tragically dead, and now the government is violently suppressing peaceful protesters rightly angry about her loss,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “It is clear that the Iranian government is afraid of its own people.”
Ms. Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police for purportedly not wearing a hijab correctly. She suffered severe injuries while in custody and later died in a hospital after falling into a coma. At least 76 people have been killed and more than 1,200 people have been arrested throughout Iran, according to press reports. Protesters are demanding an end to the compulsory wearing of the hijab and other infringements on women's rights in Iran. Protests have spread to at least 80 cities across the country.
While Iran’s government is firing on peaceful protestors and cutting off its people’s access to the global Internet, the United States is taking action to help the Iranian people freely access information via the Internet. That’s why the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued General License D-2 - an expanded authorization that will allow technology firms to provide more digital services to people in Iran, from access to cloud computing services to better tools to enhance their online security and privacy.
These steps will help enable Iranians to counter the Iranian government’s efforts to surveil and censor them. With this updated general license, it is now up to technology companies to decide whether to offer authorized services to Iranians.
The U.S. Government will continue to identify those opportunities to support the Iranian people’s ability to communicate freely and without fear of government reprisals.