24 July 2009: Iran VOICE Act passes in the US Senate

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You can read about it here. I agree with the first poster that usually whenever an elected body passes some act to try to "help" it often makes the matter worse, but this bill is 100% positive. Why, it's even good for those studying Persian.

Here's what it does in short:

- Gives $30 million to expand Persian-language broadcasting by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty's Radio Farda and VOA's Persian News Network, and this funding can be used to counteract Iranian government attempts to jam signals etc. as well.

- Gives $20 million for a fund that will aid the development of technologies that will aid the ability of Iranian people to access and share information, avoid detection online, plus something about "education programs and other exchanges with Americans online", which is the only unclear part of that second paragraph.

- The third part seems to be a reaction to Nokia and Siemmens, as it requires a report by the President on companies outside Iran that have aided them in censoring the Internet.

- Finally, the Secretary of State gets $5 million to further collect information about human rights in Iran.

It's basically the "we're watching you and you can't watch us (or Iranian protesters)" act.


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