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Trump Vows to Protect Speech, Access to Media

The White House Friday (Jan. 12) took steps to protect access to the media and Iran.

Those were part of a series of moves meant to signal that, while the President was again waiving nuclear-related sanctions--the U.S. still had lots of issues with that country, including that it is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and oppresses, tortures and silences its people.

"[W]e're designating Iran's Supreme Council for Cyberspace for engaging in censorship or other activities that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Iran, or that limit access to print or broadcast media," White House officials told the press in a background call. "Today's actions were taken pursuant to executive orders that target serious human rights abuses by the government of Iran, censorship, and activities that restrict freedom of expression or assembly by citizens and media in Iran," the official said.

The President, in a statement, called on U.S. allies to "join us in countering Iran’s cyber threats."

Earlier in the week, the President continued his attacks on U.S. media and suggested his Administration would be looking to toughen libel laws (opens in new tab), which he has threatened to employ against stories critical of him.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.