Promoting the Free Flow of Information in Sanctioned Countries

New America Foundation
Thursday, December 05, 2013
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

In the spring of 2013, the U.S. government authorized the sale of hardware, software, and services to Iran-a bold move aimed at increasing access to information, free expression, and the ability of Iranian civilians to participate in uncensored political dialogue. The free flow of information and the ability to communicate online is a human right that needs protecting, even in the most repressive countries. But U.S. sanctions that ban the export of goods and services to countries like Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Cuba remain outdated in recognizing the impact of communications technology on both civilian and American foreign policy goals. Instead, comprehensive sanctions can actually have negative consequences population, effectively aiding the repressive regimes that seek to control access to information within their borders.

The New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute will host experts to discuss the impact of communications technology in sanctioned countries and developments in U.S. policy. In particular, panelists will focus on how the recent authorization for Iran could influence U.S. policy toward Sudan and other sanctioned countries.

The event coincides with the release of a new policy paper by the Open Technology Institute, "Translating Norms to the Digital Age: Enabling the Free Flow of Information via Technology under U.S. Sanctions." The paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the evolving treatment of communications tools under U.S. sanctions and a framework for institutionalizing this new norm and harmonizing it across all sanctioned countries.

To RSVP for the event:

For questions, contact Kirsten Holtz at New America at (202) 735-2806 or [email protected]