recommended reading

Smart Sanctions 2.0

Google had unblocked Google Play in Iran, following a legal clarification that allowed them to do so.

Google had unblocked Google Play in Iran, following a legal clarification that allowed them to do so. // suronin/Shutterstock.com

U.S. and international sanctions against repressive regimes may do more harm than good when they prohibit exporting personal technology such as smartphones and software programs that can aid dissidents and promote human rights, according to a report released on Wednesday.

By prohibiting U.S. companies from exporting these technologies, sanctions may be doing repressive regimes’ work for them, according to the report titled Translating Norms to the Digital Age published by the New America Foundation.

The report cites the case of the Google Play store, which Google unblocked in Iran, following a legal clarification that allowed them to do so. Once the store went online, the Iranian government blocked it, suggesting the U.S. prohibition on offering the store in Iran may have been helping the Iranian regime rather than hurting it.

In four of the five countries subject to comprehensive U.S. sanctions there are some carve outs for personal technology, the report states, but those carve outs are often scattershot and unclear, which makes U.S. firms hesitant to sell in those nations.

The report recommends reforming sanctions regimes in a manner similar to the smart sanctions debate of the 1990s, which aimed to target sanctions so they harmed a nation’s leaders rather than its citizens.

(Image of Tehran's Imam Khomeini Mosque via suronin / Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    View
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.