Updated: After Being Blocked For Years Google Offers Google Earth, Picassa And Chrome for Download in Syria

23 May, 2012


As A U.S companies Google has been in compliance with US export controls and sanctions programs against countries that does not follow the US policy.

In Syria all google software and google code was blocked in the country due to those US government sanctions programs.

We at ArabCrunch wrote about how these sanctions affect the average innocent user in Syria, Sudan, Iraq, North Korea and Cuba, specially with the blocking of open source software repository sourceforge.

Today Google announced the good news as it made Google Earth, Picassa And Chrome available for download in Syria. The announcement was made via a blog post but did not say the reason behind this move possibly the US government is easing restriction as such this move. We will contact google for updates on this story.

Update:
Google responded by saying that the US government allowed them to offer these software:
“Export controls and sanctions are maintained by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) in the past they prohibited us from offering software downloads to Syria. We used IP blocking to comply with those regulations.

A combination of regulatory changes by both the Commerce and Treasury Departments have made it possible for us to make certain types of software downloads available in Syria”

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