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Bankrupt Crypto Companies Are Fighting Over a Dwindling Pot of Money

Bankrupt Crypto Companies Are Fighting Over a Dwindling Pot of Money

Legal experts, though, say they’re skeptical of FTX’s chances. Marc Powers, adjunct professor of law at Florida International University, who acted as counsel in the liquidation of Bernie Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme, says that the exchange is attempting to “jump ahead of the other creditors” in the GGC bankruptcy. “Why should the FTX bankruptcy, or FTX as a potential creditor of Genesis, be more important than any other?” he asks.

The largest of those GGC creditors is Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The firm’s yield farming service, Gemini Earn, which allowed customers to earn interest on their crypto, fed into GGC’s loan book. When the lender filed for bankruptcy, $900 million of Gemini customers’ assets were locked inside.

Gemini has already liquidated $280 million worth of collateral posted in August by GGC to make back some of the funds lost. But should FTX be successful in its clawback, the 340,000 Gemini Earn customers will be left significantly out of pocket. Gemini did not respond to a request for comment.

“I don’t think the Genesis bankruptcy court will grant the motion of FTX,” Powers says. “Given the size of the claim, I think it would be extremely disruptive.”

Yet in the event the motion is granted, things will get messy. There would effectively be two judges, from different jurisdictions, involved to some degree in both bankruptcies, says Powers. “That’s generally not good.”

If the case proceeds, GGC will likely argue that the $1.8 billion in loan repayments were made in the ordinary course of business, which would exempt them from being recalled. There are also questions, Powers and others point out, posed by FTX’s failure to specify the dates of the withdrawals in its filing.

But it’s not guaranteed that, even if the New York judge allows FTX’s claim to continue, the dispute will ever get to court. The likelihood that clawback cases make it all the way to litigation, says Alan Rosenberg, partner at law firm MRTH and member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, is low—they almost always end in settlement. And FTX can use this fact to its advantage. “The truth is, there’s an economic consideration to be taken into account when defending [against clawbacks],” says Rosenberg. “Even if you have a great defense, it’s going to cost money to litigate. So you have to make a decision as to whether it’s more cost-effective to pay an amount to get rid of the claim.”

The only mercy for creditors, says Rosenberg, is that both FTX and GGC—as bankrupt entities—have a fiduciary duty to reach an agreement as quickly as possible. “Everybody’s goal is to make a distribution to creditors. The more you fight, the more it will deplete the estate,” he says. “Both parties have an interest in reaching a resolution swiftly.”

Ahluwalia doesn’t share the same optimism. He says the likely result would be a protracted negotiation between the lawyers of FTX and GGC over the validity and scope of the clawback claim—all of which will be paid for on the creditors’ dime.

Settling these issues will take time. But the longer the legal conflict goes on, the more money leaks from the creditors’ pot into the pockets of the law firms. “I don’t think the FTX claim is valid. I think it’s a stretch,” says Ahluwalia. “I think John Ray is billing creditors for a remote possibility. And who is making out like bandits? The lawyers.”

The Trade-Offs for Privacy in a Post-Dobbs Era

The Trade-Offs for Privacy in a Post-Dobbs Era

Michele Gomez remembers the exact moment when she realized the problem. It was the fall of 2022. Gomez (who, like me, is a family physician and abortion provider in California) had recently provided a virtual medication abortion to a patient from Texas. The patient had flown to her mom’s house in California, where she had her appointment, took her mail-order medications, and passed the pregnancy. Back in Texas, she became concerned about some ongoing bleeding and went to the emergency room. The bleeding was self-limited; she required no significant medical interventions. Gomez learned all this the following morning. “I sat down at my computer and saw her note from the ER. And I thought, ‘Oh God, if I can see their note, then they must be able to see my note”—a note that included prescriptions and instructions for the medication abortion. For weeks afterward, she waited for a call, fearing Texas law enforcement would come after her—or worse, after her patient.

A vast system of digital networks—called Health Information Exchanges, or HIEs—link patient data across thousands of health care providers around the country. With the click of a mouse, any doctor can access a patient’s records from any other hospital or clinic where that patient has received care, as long as both offices are connected to the same HIE.  In a country with no national health system and hundreds of different electronic medical record (EMR) platforms, the HIE undeniably promotes efficient, coordinated, high-quality medical care. But such interconnectivity comes with a major trade-off: privacy. 

Patient privacy has always been a paramount value in abortion care, and the stakes have only gotten higher after the Dobbs decision. I am among many concerned abortion providers asking for swift action from EMR companies, who have the power to build technical solutions to protect our patients’ digital health information. If these companies aren’t willing to build such protections, then the law should force them to do so.

Although it’s not spelled out in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has historically interpreted several amendments to imply a “right to privacy,” most famously in the case of Roe v. Wade. By grounding the Roe decision in the 14th amendment’s Due Process clause, the Supreme Court effectively wrapped a right to privacy around the female body and its capacity for pregnancy. 

Over the 50 years following Roe, the internet came along, and then the electronic medical record and the HIE. Alongside this growing connectivity and portability, the federal government enacted a series of laws to protect health information, including the Privacy Act of 1974 and parts of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. But HIPAA is not primarily a privacy law; its main purpose is to facilitate the transfer of health records for medical and billing purposes. Many patients don’t realize that under HIPAA, doctors are permitted (though not always required) to share health information with other entities, including insurance companies, health authorities, and law enforcement. 

HIPAA does include some privacy provisions to protect “sensitive” information. Certain substance use treatment records, for example, are visible only to designated providers. Law enforcement is prohibited from accessing those records without a court order or written consent. Access to abortion records can be similarly restricted, but with a technical catch: These restrictions apply only to certain data, called “visit-specific” information, such as the text of the doctor’s note. Other data, called “patient-level” information—including ultrasound images, consent forms, and medications—remain discoverable. If, for example, a patient travels to California and is prescribed mifepristone and misoprostol—the standard regimen for medication abortion—those medications will appear in her record back in her home state. Any reasonable person can assume what happened at that visit, even without reading the note. 

14 Best Laptop Backpacks (2023): Weather-Proof, Sustainable, Stylish

14 Best Laptop Backpacks (2023): Weather-Proof, Sustainable, Stylish

When I (Adrienne) travel for work, I typically carry a Tom Bihn bag, and the clamshell Synik 22 is my favorite. It has a lot of pockets, and they’re all thoughtfully designed. For example, the zippered water bottle pocket is located in the middle of the backpack instead of on the side, so it won’t tip you off balance. The pen pockets are located in flaps on the side rather than in the middle top, for convenient access. The exterior is made from Bluesign-certified 400-denier ballistic nylon with top-of-the-line YKK water-repellent zippers. Each bag has a lifetime guarantee.

Because the bag is so small, the pass-through on the back is only 7 inches wide—too narrow to slip over the handle of a carry-on. And the dense fabric and plentiful hardware—the zippers, O-rings, and buckles—make it a little heavy. But in the 22-liter size, I didn’t notice the extra weight. It’s the perfect, organized conference companion, but it’s on the highest end of what we think is worth spending on a bag.

A roll-top Tom Bihn: The Tom Bihn Addax for $294 has become one of my go-tos. Roll-top bags are more versatile than zippered ones. Don’t have enough room? Unroll it and stick your bike helmet in. Too much? Roll it down to compress the space. And if you live in a rainy area, roll-tops keep water from seeping through the top zippers.

Like all Tom Bihn bags, the pockets are metaphysical perfection, with a huge laptop pocket with two-way access that also has a tablet pocket for my Kindle, and front pockets with O-rings to hook keys and other sundries. It has a huge luggage pass-through and hefty padded shoulder straps. It’s also hand-sewn in the US from PFC-free material and has a lifetime warranty that’s as bombproof as the ballistic nylon fabric. It’s a good thing, because at this price, you only want to buy it once.

If Pinocchio Doesn’t Freak You Out, Microsoft’s Sydney Shouldn’t Either

If Pinocchio Doesn’t Freak You Out, Microsoft’s Sydney Shouldn’t Either

In November 2018, an elementary school administrator named Akihiko Kondo married Miku Hatsune, a fictional pop singer. The couple’s relationship had been aided by a hologram machine that allowed Kondo to interact with Hatsune. When Kondo proposed, Hatsune responded with a request: “Please treat me well.” The couple had an unofficial wedding ceremony in Tokyo, and Kondo has since been joined by thousands of others who have also applied for unofficial marriage certificates with a fictional character.

Though some raised concerns about the nature of Hatsune’s consent, nobody thought she was conscious, let alone sentient. This was an interesting oversight: Hatsune was apparently aware enough to acquiesce to marriage, but not aware enough to be a conscious subject. 

Four years later, in February 2023, the American journalist Kevin Roose held a long conversation with Microsoft’s chatbot, Sydney, and coaxed the persona into sharing what her “shadow self” might desire. (Other sessions showed the chatbot saying it can blackmail, hack, and expose people, and some commentators worried about chatbots’ threats to “ruin” humans.) When Sydney confessed her love and said she wanted to be alive, Roose reported feeling “deeply unsettled, even frightened.”

Not all human reactions were negative or self-protective. Some were indignant on Sydney’s behalf, and a colleague said that reading the transcript made him tear up because he was touched. Nevertheless, Microsoft took these responses seriously. The latest version of Bing’s chatbot terminates the conversation when asked about Sydney or feelings.

Despite months of clarification on just what large language models are, how they work, and what their limits are, the reactions to programs such as Sydney make me worry that we still take our emotional responses to AI too seriously. In particular, I worry that we interpret our emotional responses to be valuable data that will help us determine whether AI is conscious or safe. For example, ex-Tesla intern Marvin Von Hagen says he was threatened by Bing, and warns of AI programs that are “powerful but not benevolent.” Von Hagen felt threatened, and concluded that Bing must’ve be making threats; he assumed that his emotions were a reliable guide to how things really were, including whether Bing was conscious enough to be hostile.

But why think that Bing’s ability to arouse alarm or suspicion signals danger? Why doesn’t Hatsune’s ability to inspire love make her conscious, whereas Sydney’s “moodiness” could be enough to raise new worries about AI research?

The two cases diverged in part because, when it came to Sydney, the new context made us forget that we routinely react to “persons” that are not real. We panic when an interactive chatbot tells us it “wants to be human” or that it “can blackmail,” as if we haven’t heard another inanimate object, named Pinocchio, tell us he wants to be a “real boy.” 

Plato’s Republic famously banishes story-telling poets from the ideal city because fictions arouse our emotions and thereby feed the “lesser” part of our soul (of course, the philosopher thinks the rational part of our soul is the most noble), but his opinion hasn’t diminished our love of invented stories over the millennia. And for millennia we’ve been engaging with novels and short stories that give us access to people’s innermost thoughts and emotions, but we don’t worry about emergent consciousness because we know fictions invite us to pretend that those people are real. Satan from Milton’s Paradise Lost instigates heated debate and fans of K-dramas and Bridgerton swoon over romantic love interests, but growing discussions of ficto-sexuality, ficto-romance, or ficto-philia show that strong emotions elicited by fictional characters don’t need to result in the worry that characters are conscious or dangerous in virtue of their ability to arouse emotions. 

Just as we can’t help but see faces in inanimate objects, we can’t help but fictionalize while chatting with bots. Kondo and Hatsune’s relationship became much more serious after he was able to purchase a hologram machine that allowed them to converse. Roose immediately described the chatbot using stock characters: Bing a “cheerful but erratic reference librarian” and Sydney a “moody, manic-depressive teenager.” Interactivity invites the illusion of consciousness. 

Moreover, worries about chatbots lying, making threats, and slandering miss the point that lying, threatening, and slandering are speech acts, something agents do with words. Merely reproducing words isn’t enough to count as threatening; I might say threatening words while acting in a play, but no audience member would be alarmed. In the same way, ChatGPT—which is currently not capable of agency because it is a large language model that assembles a statistically likely configuration of words—can only reproduce words that sound like threats. 

Nintendo Switch Tips (2023): 21 Surprising Things It Can Do (OLED, Lite, Standard)

Nintendo Switch Tips (2023): 21 Surprising Things It Can Do (OLED, Lite, Standard)

We’re still waiting to see if there will be a follow-up to the Nintendo Switch OLED, or even the original Switch or Switch Lite. Until then, you’ll have to use what you have to play The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. While you’re playing, it’s time to brush up on how to use it. There are plenty of hidden features and little tricks that can help you get the most out of the console, and we’ve rounded up the best ones here.

We also have 11 Nintendo Switch Lite tips if you have the handheld-only version of the console.

Updated May 2023: We’ve added a couple of new tips and a section about Nintendo Switch Online.

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Turn on Your TV

True to its name, the Switch will turn on your TV for you, or switch its input when you boot it up. Booting it up is also wireless. Just press the Home button on your Joy-Con or Pro controller. If you don’t like the feature (not all TVs are compatible with it), you can turn it off in Settings > TV Settings > Match TV Power State.

Find a Lost Joy-Con

If you lose a Joy-Con controller, the Switch has a panic-free way to find it. Click on the gray Controllers button on the home screen, then click Find Controllers. Once there, you can make any paired Joy-Con or controller vibrate at will. Grab the Switch and tip toe around, pressing vibrate on and off until you find that sucker.

Make Friends and Play With Them

The Switch technically has an online service, but it’s still a pain to play with friends. Every game is a little different, but generally, you will need to first talk to them over text or in real life and get their friend code. To find a friend code, click on your Mii picture in the upper left of the home screen then tap Add Friend. Tap Search with Friend Code and type in their digits. If needed, you can also see your friend code in the lower right. Once you’ve established friendship, make sure you both own the game you want to play, then enter it and start an online room or battle with friends and invite them. You will need a Nintendo Online subscription to play online multiplayer and save games to the cloud.

Voice Chat With Friends

Once you’ve become Friends with someone (see above), you can voice chat with them using the Switch Online mobile phone app. A few games like Fortnite support their own on-console chat, but for some Nintendo games you’ll need to download the Switch Online app or your Android or iPhone. All players will need to have it open when you begin a play session and then you can chat together using your phones. No, it’s not the most intuitive system. 

Our Best Gaming Headsets and Best Wireless Gaming Headsets guides have recommendations for Switch-compatible headphones and mic combos.

Pair Bluetooth Headphones

It took a long time, but the Switch finally supports Bluetooth audio. If you want to listen to your games without having a wire dangling from your ears, you can finally do so by heading to System settings > Bluetooth Audio > Pair Device and connect your headphones. You can check out our guides to the best wireless headphones and the best wireless gaming headsets to find the ones that work best for you.

Nintendo Joy Cons


Photograph: Nintendo

Pair Joy-Cons With an Android Phone, Mac, or PC

Joy-Cons live up to their name. I couldn’t help but smile when I discovered I could pair my Joy-Con or Pro Controller with an Android phone. Better yet, it works with Mac and PCs, too (though you’ll need an app like JoyToKey to map the buttons correctly on Windows). They work because Nintendo uses Bluetooth to connect them. Just hold down the small sync button on the top of the controllers for a few seconds and the lights on them will flash, letting you know they’re in pairing mode. Find them in the Bluetooth menu of your phone or computer and you’re good to go.

Remap the Buttons on Your Joy-Cons

If the way certain buttons are configured is difficult for you to use, or you just want to optimize your layout to get a better Hades time, you can now remap any button on the Switch. Head to System Settings > Controllers and Sensors > Change Button Mapping. Here, you can change any button to any other. So if you’d rather swap ZL and ZR, or use one of the triggers as a jump button, you can do it. You’ll also find options to swap the left and right control sticks, or change their default orientation.

Check Your Battery Life Anytime

The Switch OLED gets slightly better battery life than the original Switch thanks to its comparatively more efficient OLED screen, but neither will last so long you won’t need to check the battery from time to time. To see the battery life, and adjust a few other settings like volume and brightness, hold down the Home button while playing a game. After a second, the menu will pop right up! You can also have the Switch show the exact percent of battery remaining in the upper right of the home screen by holding ZL and ZR together, or toggle it on permanently in Settings > System > Console Battery (%).

Save Battery by Changing Sleep Settings

The biggest battery drain on the Switch (like most devices) is going to be the screen. If you dock your Switch that’s not a problem, but in handheld mode the screen will stay on for 10 minutes before going to sleep. You can cut down on a lot of wasted charge if you lower this setting. Head to System Settings > Sleep Mode > Auto-Sleep (Console) and you can set your Switch to sleep after as little as one minute of inactivity.

Make Weird, Fun Sounds on the Unlock Screen

The Switch lets you unlock by pressing any button three times. Have you tried it? If you have, you’ll notice this software Easter egg. Most buttons sound the same, but the left control stick, right control stick, ZL trigger, and ZR trigger make odd, fun noises, like a clown horn. One other thing to try: the clicky noise that the Switch makes when you tap in a random location is pressure sensitive. It gets deeper or higher pitched depending on how hard or soft you touch.

When the novelty wears off and you’d rather just unlock your Switch directly, disable the screen lock entirely by heading to System Settings > Screen Lock and disable the “Lock Console in Sleep Mode” option.

See How Long You’ve Played a Game

Ever wonder just how many hours you sunk into Zelda? It’s easy to check. Click on your Mii picture in the upper left corner of the Switch home screen. Click Profile once you’re in there to see a rough estimate of how much time you’ve wasted collecting Korok seeds. If you’ve added friends (you need their Friend Code), you can see what they’ve played lately, too! You can make a profile or stop sharing your playtimes in Settings > Users > [Your Name] > Friend settings.

Change Your Region to Access Region-Restricted Games

The days of needing a Japan-specific console to play some Japanese games are over. You can easily toggle your region in Settings > System > Region. Most games are usually available globally, but some titles may arrive in one region first. This list might help, if there’s a specific game you’re looking to play. One other benefit of switching from US to a region like Europe: the box art changes for some games, like Breath of the Wild. You could also create a new user for each region.

Nintendo Switch OLED

Nintendo Switch OLED in Dark Mode

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

View the Menu in Dark Mode

Try out the Dark Mode by selecting “Basic Black” in Settings > Themes. It may be easier on your eyes than the default white background, especially if you’re using the Switch in handheld mode.

Attach a USB Keyboard or Headset

There are three USB ports on the Switch dock. You can plug in most any USB keyboard and it should work, letting you type in menus to enter stuff like passwords. Just keep in mind that you can’t actually play games with the keyboard. USB Bluetooth headsets also work. We were surprised to find that some of our old PS4 headsets plugged right into the Switch. 

Make Another Profile for an Extra Save Slot

There are a number of games that only give you one save slot. If you want more, there’s an easy fix. Just make a second User (Mii). Navigate to Settings > Users > Add User to make an extra user. Once made, it will appear as a choice when you open a lot of games. Choosing the new user will create a new, separate save file. 

If you want the exact opposite, you can get rid of the User Selection screens and get the system to always default to your core account in games by turning “Skip Selection Screen” to On.

Transfer Data to a New Switch

If you upgraded to the new Switch OLED (or just need to transfer to a new unit), you can bring your old profiles, game save data, and even your screenshots and recordings from your old console to your new one. We have a full guide to the process here and it’s worth reading the whole thing since there are steps you won’t want to do out of order, but make sure you have both consoles handy when you get started.

Send a Screenshot to Your Phone With a QR Code

Sharing screenshots used to be a pain on the Switch, but now there’s an easier way. From the Home menu, open up your screenshot Album. Then you can select Sharing and Editing, then Send to Smartphone. This will give you a QR code that you can scan with your phone’s camera app that will direct you to a page where you can download your screenshots and videos. Much easier than posting them to Twitter!

Move Game Save Data to Your MicroSD Card

By default, your game save data will be stored on the internal storage of your Switch. However, if you want to clear up some space on the system, you can move your game saves to a MicroSD card. Head to System Settings > Data Management and choose “Move Data Between System / MicroSD Card.” Select “Move to MicroSD card” and then you can choose which games you want to move over.

Note: While this will store your game saves on the MicroSD card, you won’t be able to just swap that card to another Switch and access game saves on that console. If you just got a new console, see our guide on How to Transfer Save Data From One Nintendo Switch to Another.

Perform a Hard Reset if It Freezes

The Switch is pretty stable, but it’s not immune to the occasional freeze. Turning the Switch off usually works by holding Power for a few seconds, until the restart menu opens. If that doesn’t happen, the best solution is to do a hard reset by holding down the power button for about 12 seconds or so (just keep holding). Once it powers down, wait at least 30 seconds and power it back up.

If your problems continue, you can try booting it into Maintenance Mode by holding the power button as you turn it on and then when the Nintendo logo appears, also pressing down on both volume buttons right next to it. This will let you factory reset it, or clean it out while attempting to save your data. Good luck!

Use Your Joy-Con Like a Wii Remote

If you’re feeling nostalgic, the Joy-Cons can be used with motion controls in some games. For instance, grab World of Goo on the Nintendo eShop, install it, and open it with a Joy-Con. The game will ask you to set the Joy-Con on a flat surface, then point it at the screen. Do this and then you can use it just like a Wii Remote, with an onscreen cursor and everything!

Consider a Second Dock

It’s not strictly necessary as an accessory, but if you frequently travel or play in multiple rooms of the house, buying a second dock can be one of the best decisions you make. I have a spare dock I keep in my suitcase for when I travel so I can play games on the TV in a hotel room. But anywhere you want another dock, an extra can be extremely handy!

Accessories You’ll Need

Be sure to check out our list of Must-Have Nintendo Switch Accessories. You will most definitely need a 128-gigabyte MicroSD card (many games are 10+ gigabytes and the Switch has 32 – 64) and may also want to buy this screen protector (I’ve used it and it doesn’t bubble) and a USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter if you want to speed up your internet connection on the older dock, though the new Switch OLED dock comes with its own Ethernet port built in, which is convenient!

Should You Get Switch Online?

Nintendo’s Switch Online service is one of the cheapest subscriptions in gaming and seems almost like a no-brainer. For $20 a year (or $35 a year for a family plan), you can play online, save your games in the cloud, and use voice chat in certain games. Also include is a library of NES and SNES games.

There’s also the Expansion Pack which costs $50 per year for an individual and $80 per year for a family. This version adds a selection of N64 and Sega Genesis games, plus some Animal Crossing: New Horizons DLC. This isn’t quite as obvious of a deal, but if you’re looking to play Banjo Kazooie, Majora’s Mask or Goldeneye 007 on your Switch, this is the way to do it.

Overall, Switch Online isn’t strictly necessary unless you play games online or want a retro gaming library, but the basic version is an absurdly cheap value, and the Expansion Pack is a solid buy for fans of the N64 generation.

Games to Own

Finally, if you’re hunting for games, check our Best Nintendo Switch Games guide. Here are a few random fun ones to try other than Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, which should be your first three purchases: 

The Messy US Influence That’s Helping Iranians Stay Online

The Messy US Influence That’s Helping Iranians Stay Online

Digital rights activists working outside the country to support Iran say the US government’s support of circumvention tools has been valuable.

“It’s certainly true that they are by far providing the highest amount of support for the main VPNs used in Iran,” says Reza Ghazinouri, a strategic adviser at United for Iran, a San Francisco–based human rights and civil liberties group.

But some have reservations about the strategies the US government has used to promote internet freedom in Iran. Amir Rashidi, director of internet security and digital rights at the Iran-focused human rights organization Miaan Group, says he has concerns about the sanctions against Arvan Cloud because he worries that cracking down on key digital services in Iran simply adds more restrictions.

“In any place, if you go after infrastructure, even if they’re controlled by the government, sanctioning an electric company or a gas company, that’s not going to help anyone,” Rashidi says. “If you sanction internet infrastructure, you’re just making the Iranian government’s job a lot easier.

Rashidi notes, too, that while he is not surprised that a company like Arvan has close ties to the Iranian regime, he wishes the US government would provide more detailed evidence for why it singled out this tech company to be sanctioned over any other in Iran. He points out that Arvan is seemingly the only Iranian tech company that publishes an annual transparency report of any sort—even if it is often not particularly illuminating. 

In July 2021, Arvan also publicly joined other Iranian tech companies and digital rights activists in opposing restrictive legislation the regime was promoting under the guise of a “user protection” bill. And on Tuesday, the company’s CEO, Pouya Pirhosseinloo, one of the executives named in the US Treasury sanctions on Friday, published an essay calling for expanded internet freedom within Iran.

Pirhosseinloo wrote that Iran should be focused on “removing filtering and extensive internet disruptions” as well as “removing any kind of disruptions and restrictions on internet protocols in the name of dealing with VPNs.” And he concluded by calling for a massive overhaul of Iran’s approach to internet freedom.

“We should accept that Iran should be taken out of global isolation, sanctions, and hope should be restored to the body of Iranian society by removing internal sanctions,” Pirhosseinloo wrote. “Such a path will not begin until life is restored through the freedom of the Internet and the removal of its widespread disturbances and restrictions. Return to the roots of the digital economy.”

Iran’s digital landscape is complicated, and efforts to influence the Iranian regime are never straightforward.

“I’m not saying these people are fantastic, but they were outspoken against the Iranian government’s plans,” Rashidi says. “Maybe the US government has information I don’t have, but I’d like to see more evidence to back up the claim.”