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Google apps available in Sudan as US eases sanctions

July 21 - 2015 SAN JOSE
An application in the Google Play Store (Androidcentral)
An application in the Google Play Store (Androidcentral)

Sudanese internet users will be able to download applications from the American international Google Company, as the USA has begun to ease the sanctions on some technologies exported to Sudan several months ago. Washington imposed sanctions on Sudan since 1997, and put it on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

US search engine Google announced that it has expanded access to free applications on Google Play to users in Sudan for the first time. Paid applications are not downloadable in Sudan.

“As part of a commitment to helping more people around the globe use technology to communicate, find and create information, we’re announcing the availability of free apps and games on +Google Play in Sudan for the first time,” the company said in a post on Google+ on 17 July.

In February the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) announced that it amended Sudan’s sanctions regime to allow exports of personal communications hardware and software including smart phones and laptops.

US Special Envoy Donald Booth said that opening the export of personal communications technology to Sudan would benefit its people. He said it will promote free speech and help Sudanese citizens communicate with each other, access the Internet and connect to the world.

Over the past years, the US has gradually eased the technical ban for some countries, such as Cuba and Iran, but it is still at its highest in North Korea. Sudan has been on the list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993, and Washington has imposed economic sanctions on the country since 1997.



Cyber Jihadist Unit monitors Sudan’s online communication (10 December 2014)

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