Obama wants to stop Syria, Iran tech tussle on activists
Washington: President Barack Obama imposed US sanctions on Monday on those who help Syria and Iran track dissidents through cell phones and computer, serving notice on technology providers that they could be held responsible for those governments’ human rights abuses.
Barack Obama’s statement underscored how democracy activists have used social media tools in protest movements across the Middle East, but also the extent to which authoritarian governments have used cutting-edge technologies to crack down on dissent.
“These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them,” Obama said in a speech at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
Barack Obama rolled out new asset freezes and visa restrictions against Syrian and Iranian security agencies, telecommunications firms and individuals charged of helping security forces conduct surveillance to target the opposition for attack.
With Barack obama under election-year stress to get difficult with Iran and Syria, the new sanctions targeted those based inside those countries and did not cite any foreign entities that provide technology to the 2 governments.
But the management did not appear to rule out the possibility of broadening the measures later on.