Posted by Florian Wardell | 0 comments
Hillary Clinton’s internet freedom speech
In the wake of China’s attacks on Google servers, Hillary Clinton gave a landmark speech on internet freedom around the world, making it clear exactly where the United States stands:
“On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress, but the United States does. We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic.”
Importantly, Sec. Clinton made it clear that the Obama Administration is ready to commit significant resources to this effort. She said that, over the next year, the State Department plans to work with others to establish a standing effort to promote technology and will invite technologists to help advance the cause through a new “innovation competition” that will promote circumvention technologies and other technologies of freedom. Sec. Clinton also challenged private companies to stand up to censorship globally and challenge foreign governments when they demand controls on the free flow of information or digital technology.
One of my favorite moments of the speech was when she joked about the fact that somewhere in the world a foreign government official was trying to censor her speech as she delivered it. Spot on. To put things in perspective, just two days ago, the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) reported that more than half a billion Internet users are being filtered worldwide.
Here’s the video of Clinton’s speech:
View on Vimeo.
Yesterday, China “rejected a call by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the lifting of restrictions on the Internet in the communist country, denouncing her criticism as false and damaging to bilateral ties,” the Associated Press reports. It adds that “a state-run newspaper labeled the appeal from Washington as ‘information imperialism.’ ”
The BBC adds that Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said the US should “respect the facts” and stop making “groundless accusations against China”.
Contact the author via email