US expands license for Iran internet services: Treasury
The United States expands Iran's internet license amid proclaimed "outages" and "surveillance" from Tehran.
The US Department of the Treasury issued a license expanding the provision of internet services to Iran amid the protests taking place in the country, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Friday.
The US decision comes in light of widespread demonstrations taking place in Iran in the aftermath of a young woman's death that the West rushed to capitalize on, claiming that the Iranian police murdered her.
A few days ago, the Iranian police published CCTV footage documenting the last moments of Mahsa Amini at the police station. The Tehran police said the footage proved that the 22-year-old was not subjected to any violence or physical abuse.
"Today, Treasury is announcing the expansion of Iran General License D-2, which will expand the range of internet services available to Iranians. With these changes, we are helping the Iranian people be better equipped to counter the government's efforts to surveil and censor them," the US official claimed.
The expanded license granted by Washington authorities tech companies to offer Iranians more secure, external internet service options, such as Starlink, eccentric billionaire Elon Musk's satellite service.
According to the release, the license extends authorized categories of software and services to include social media platforms, collaboration platforms, video conferencing, and cloud-based services in support of such services.
The expanded license authorizes technology companies to offer Iranians more secure, external internet service options, such as Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite service, the release said.
Though Washington is claiming that Iran is "surveilling" its people, it seems that Adeyemo forgot that his country has been embroiled in a controversy related to spying itself.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) unveiled in previously unreleased records that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been acquiring location data of US targets from third parties to avert requiring a warrant to pursue a certain person of interest.
Obtaining data about communication within the United States from telecommunication providers requires the agency seeking to acquire the data to obtain a warrant, which must be approved by a judge. However, there is no law against buying data from brokers and shady third-party companies that are not subjected to any constraints.
Though technically not a violation of the constitution, the practice is incredibly shady.
The documents show that DHS is not alone in purchasing its way around the US constitution, as agencies such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were able to purchase tons of location data without any oversight before using it to track the movements of millions of cellphones within the United States.
Emails related to the matter show that the third-party firm claimed to have collected location data from some 250 million mobile devices and processed more than 15 billion location data points every 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Washington and the West have been claiming that Tehran cut off internet access for civilians across the country. However, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Issa Zarepour denied on Friday that internet access had been down around the country since the day before, Tasnim news agency reported.
The Iranian agency said it contacted the communications ministry after some Telegram channels, without giving sources, published messages about the Internet being cut off throughout the whole country since last evening, and received the answer that these messages did not correspond to reality.
Iranians rallied in support of the Islamic Republic, opposing chaos that has been spiraling under the pretense of solidarity with Mahsa Amini's family following her death.
In response to the death of the Iranian girl, Mahsa Amini, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called her family on Thursday and confirmed that he had ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.
"Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones. Please accept my condolences," Raisi told Amini's family.