Coursera, the popular online education platform founded by two Stanford University computer science professors, recently blocked access to users in Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria in order to comply with federal regulations that prohibit massive open online courses (MOOCs) in sanctioned countries, Palo Alto Online reports.

Coursera became aware of the regulations in January and soon thereafter instituted the restrictions. Certain U.S. export control regulations prohibit U.S. businesses from offering services to users in countries subject to economic and trade sanctions.

"Since Coursera came to the understanding that aspects of the course experience might be considered services (and could therefore subject be...

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