The Trump administration stepped up its support for protesters in Iran on Tuesday, calling on the government to stop blocking Instagram and other social media sites while encouraging Iranians to use special software to circumvent controls.
Following several days of tweets by President Donald Trump rooting on the protesters and declaring that it’s “time for change,” the State Department took it further, arguing that the United States has an “obligation not to stand by.” Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein, in charge of public diplomacy, said the U.S. wants Iran’s government to “open these sites” including the photo-sharing platform Instagram and the messaging app Telegram.
“They are legitimate avenues for communication,” Goldstein said. “People in Iran should be able to access those sites.”
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Iranians seeking to evade the blocks can use virtual private networks, Goldstein said. Known as VPNs, the services create encrypted