Google clears key mapping software for Syria

Google announced that its mapping software and other products would be available in Syria after getting export approval by the US government.

The Internet giant said Google Earth would be made available for download along with the photo-sharing application Picasa and the Chrome Web browser.

"Free expression is a fundamental human right and a core value of our company -- but sometimes there are limits to where we can make our products and services available," Google's export compliance chief Neil Martin said in a blog post.

"US export controls and sanctions programs, for example, prohibit us from offering certain software downloads in some countries. The fine details of these restrictions evolve over time, and we're always exploring how we can better offer tools for people to access and share information," he added.

Last year Google made the same services available to people in Iran but blocked access by government computers there.

The US government is in the midst of an initiative to promote online freedom around the world and at the same time to limit certain types of hardware and software that can be used for filtering or monitoring by repressive governments.

Amid a deadly crackdown in Syria, demonstrators use social networking sites, notably Facebook and YouTube, to whip up support for protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

But the regime is also using the Internet to strike back, and the government has deployed a special unit -- the Syrian Electronic Army -- to post pro-Assad comments on anti-regime websites.

Earlier this year Swedish mobile live video streaming site Bambuser said its services had been blocked in Syria shortly after a user had broadcast a bombing in Homs thought to have been carried out by President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lenten procession more than just a spectacle VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Baliuag, Bulacan--This town is hosting what could be the country’s biggest Lenten procession consisting of more than 100 religious statues riding on carriages or carrozas. But concerns are being raised that … Continue reading → …

  • Holy Week in Mt Banahaw: Mysticism meets Catholicism VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files Dolores, Quezon—Around this time each year, hundreds of devotees flock to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon on the slopes of Mount Banahaw to celebrate Holy Week. Here, mysticism meets Catholicism, … Continue reading → …

  • Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng VERA Files - The Inbox
    Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    By April Anne Benjamin, VERA Files San Pedro, Laguna--For 14 Maundy Thursdays now, Inding Amoranto has prayed the rosary while walking the eight-kilometer distance from her house to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher in the village of … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options