Big Tech should exploit Iran comms licence more fully, say senators

A bipartisan group of US senators has said that ‘big tech’ firms ‘including Google, Apple and Facebook – can do much more to help Iranians’ in accordance with the recently issued OFAC general licence D-2.

In an open letter to the chief executive officers of Google, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft and Digital Ocean, Senate foreign relations committee chair Bob Menendez, along with other senators from both sides of the house, said,

‘We write you concerning the recent issuance of General License D-2 (GLD-2) by the Department of the Treasury and urge your companies and their subsidiaries to utilize the new license and expand lawful access of key communications services to Iranians inside Iran. In response to nationwide protests, the Iranian regime has sought to suppress the protests with force, mass detentions, and has severely restricted internet and communication services. It remains vitally important that Iranians retain connections to the outside world, access to sources of independent information, and remain connected to one another. We ask your companies to provide expeditiously and lawfully the tools Iranians need to circumvent government blockages.