Because of U.S. export restrictions, Internet users from Cuba, Iran and Sudan haven't been able to download Google Earth since 2007. This situation is about to change, however. According to the Ogle Earth blog, which has been monitoring this situation closely since Google first blocked these downloads, Internet users in these countries will soon be able to download Google Earth again. The U.S. government lifted its export restrictions earlier this month and Internet companies can now offer their services in Iran, Cuba and Sudan again.

Sadly, it will still take a little bit before Google will actually make Google Earth available in these countries. In a statement to the Ogle Earth blog, a Google representative noted that the company has been working on these changes "since the day of the US pronouncement. There is much to do, actually, but we are very excited about it!"

Earlier this month, after the U.S. treasury department announced the end of these export restrictions, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin rightly noted, "as recent events in Iran have shown, personal Internet-based communications like e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking are powerful tools. This software will foster and support the free flow of information--a basic human right--for all Iranians."

Image Credit: Ogle Earth