Last week, Global Voices Advocacy broke the news that Syrian users had been cut off from LinkedIn's services. The business-oriented social networking site had stated in e-mails to several of its users that, “Under the User Agreement, LinkedIn Users warrant that they are not prohibited from receiving U.S. origin products, including services or software. As such, and as a matter of corporate policy, we do not allow member accounts or access to our site from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.”
LinkedIn realized its error following the publication of the piece on Advox (and subsequent pieces on Huffington Post and Foreign Policy's net.effect). Twitter users, outraged by LinkedIn's decision to cut off Syrian users, re-tweeted links to the aforementioned articles, resulting in the issue grabbing the attention of LinkedIn staffer “kluo,” who quickly pointed out that the deletion of user accounts was a human error.
I contacted Kay as requested, and was quickly issued this statement:
“Some changes made to our site recently resulted in Syrian users being unable to access LinkedIn. In looking into this matter, it has come to our attention that human error led to over compliance with respect to export controls. This issue is being addressed tonight and service to our Syrian users should be restored shortly.”
Syrian LinkedIn users should soon be able to access their accounts once again.