US Senator Cruz: Twitter’s failure to delete Iranian officials’ accounts could violate sanctions

In the letter, Cruz explained that he had informed Twitter of their violation of the IEEPA through two specific and active Twitter accounts belonging to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (Screenshot)
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Updated 29 May 2020

US Senator Cruz: Twitter’s failure to delete Iranian officials’ accounts could violate sanctions

  • Cruz urged Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to open an investigation into Twitter “for possible criminal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)”

LONDON: US Senator Ted Cruz called for a criminal investigation of Twitter on Friday over allegations the company is violating US sanctions against Iran by not banning officials from the site.

Cruz urged Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to open an investigation into Twitter “for possible criminal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA),” he wrote in a letter sent to the the US Justice and Treasury departments.

In the letter, Cruz explained that he had informed Twitter of their violation of the IEEPA through two specific and active Twitter accounts belonging to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“To this day, Twitter continues to provide services to these covered individuals, and, in an April 3, 2020 response letter, attempted to justify this decision with two untenable arguments,” he wrote.

“In early April, Khamenei and Zarif used their Twitter accounts to post anti-American disinformation and conspiracy theories, not authoritative health information. They use their accounts provided by Twitter to threaten and taunt their enemies real and imagined. In any event, Twitter’s corporate values and grave misapprehension of the threat that Khamenei and Zarif pose are irrelevant,” he added.

“The Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice should investigate what appears to be Twitter’s blatant and wilful violation of IEEPA and E.O. 13876 by providing services to Khamenei, Zarif, and other designated Iranian entities, and, to the extent appropriate, enforce any violation through sanctions and by seeking civil and criminal penalties.”


D&AD Awards announces new program changes for 2021

Updated 30 November 2020

D&AD Awards announces new program changes for 2021

  • D&AD, which promotes excellence in design and advertising, evolves its categories every year to reflect the industry

RIYADH: The D&AD Awards are now open for 2021 with several new changes.

Due to the economic climate, the education charity D&AD has increased its Super Earlybird discount from 30 percent to 40 percent for all entries submitted by Jan. 13. It has also increased the discount for freelancers and small businesses under 10 employees to 25 percent.

D&AD, which promotes excellence in design and advertising, evolves its categories every year to reflect the industry including revisions and additions of sub-categories as well as entirely new sections.

This year, there are four new additions: E-commerce with 12 sub-categories including purchase experience and brand partnership; next photographer is being brought back for emerging talent with less than 3 years of commercial experience in photography; type design, which has been removed as a sub-category from typography and is its own category due to the large number of entries it receives; gaming, which aims to celebrate creative excellence in gamified experiences and brand messaging across e-sports, mobile, and online games; and new realities and emerging media, which are sub-categories reflecting cutting-edge work that is changing how brands interact with consumers.

In addition, writing for design and writing for advertising are back as two distinct, separate categories after consultation with the industry.

Following last year’s revamp of the digital design subcategory and feedback from juries, judges will now prioritize execution over idea in this category in the digital design category.

Lastly, D&AD has introduced the low budget subcategories across all disciplines including film, branding, direction, visual effects, animation, photography, and entertainment as well as PR, spatial design, and music videos.

Donal Keenan, awards director at D&AD, said: “We are committed as always to creating an awards program that accurately reflects the current nature of the creative industries.

“In 2021 our changes reflect approaches the industry has employed to reach and engage audiences through e-commerce, gaming, and new realities.

“As current world events continue to transform the creative sector, we hope that the changes to our awards can help better bring together the creative community that we aim to champion,” he added.

After a virtual 2020 awards program, D&AD will continue its digital-first approach into next year, hosting a virtual awards ceremony and festival while continuing to explore the possibility of in-person events.