The US government is planning on loosening internet service export restrictions to Cuba, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.
The Treasury Department will issue a general license for the export of certain personal internet services – including instant messaging, e-mail and social networking tools – to Cuba, as well as Iran and Sudan. The new regulation will also permit the export of software to Iran and Sudan.
“Unlike Iran and Sudan, the exportation of goods and technology, including software, to Cuba is separately licensed or otherwise authorized by the Commerce Department,” the statement read.
The changes will be implemented through amendments to the Iranian Transactions Regulations, Sudanese Sanctions Regulations and Cuban Assets Control Regulations. The New York Times reported on Sunday (March 7) that US government officials will examine requests on a case-by-case basis. The report added that the Treasury Department is likely to grant a license for the Haystack program, a software package compatible with Windows, Mac and Unix that protects internet users from government censors.
Until now, US software and internet companies have refrained from offering services in Cuba, Iran and Sudan due to existing trade restrictions.