In late January I wrote here and here about the US Treasury Department, through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), blocking access to Coursera courses by students in Syria, Cuba, Iran and Sudan (also see Kris Olds article here and IHE article here). The reason for the decision appears to be that MOOCs were classified as educational services instead of informational materials. At the time, edX was permitted to operate in those countries based on their reliance on getting licenses approved by OFAC, whereas Coursera was relying on a broad interpretation by OFAC. edX president Anant Agarwal even posted on a blog a somewhat congratulatory note:

At edX, we are pleased to announce that no one, in any country, is blocked from taking one of our courses, and we have never blocked students from receiving education on the edX platform because of where they live.

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