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Radio News: Some radio-related equipment still being sold to Russia

Apr 17, 2022 11:30 pm

Adi Robertson reports for The Verge that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been fought with tanks, planes, ships, and humans, and also with radio waves, as a battle of information over the internet, television, and radio. And while the U.S. has banned selling almost anything to Russia, a few radio-related products are now allowed for export to Russia to help in the information war. The US Department of the Treasury is exempting telecommunications services from the sanctions against Russia. Advocacy groups for anti-war protesters inside Russia predicted that blocking internet services would cut off Russian activists’ access to the outside world. So the Department of the Treasury is allowing "services, software, hardware, or technology incident to the exchange of communications over the internet, such as instant messaging, videoconferencing, chat and email, social networking, sharing of photos, movies, and documents, web browsing, blogging, web hosting, and domain name registration services." Access Now, one of the group's advocating for Russian activists, applauded the decision. “U.S. internet communication technologies are key for human rights defenders and independent media to report on and fight Russian and Belarusian governments’ aggression in Ukraine,” said the group's tech legal counsel Natalia Krapiva. Internet backbone providers Lumen and Cogent and Mailchimp operator Intuit ended their service in Russia before the sanctions were approved. Slack only blocked access from Russia after the sanctions hit. The Ukraine government has asked for more than it has gotten so far. Ukraine wanted DNS overseer ICANN to revoke Russia's access to the Domain Name System, but was turned down. ICANN said a revocation, blocking Russia from the rest of the world, could have “devastating and permanent effects on the trust and utility of this global system.” The Russian government has not been acting in kind, as they have been blocking major global services such as Facebook and Instagram in a wide-ranging crackdown on free speech of any kind. Read more about this story at The Verge.