Freedom House Welcomes Clinton Speech on Internet Freedom

Washington

Freedom House applauds Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her policy address today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on internet freedom.
 
In her remarks, Secretary Clinton called internet freedom a new “policy priority” for the Obama Administration both strategically and diplomatically and promised a multi-faceted, inter-governmental approach to combating internet censorship – to include diplomatic pressure when necessary and more public/private cooperation. She stated that the United States supports a “single internet”, to which all have equal access to ideas and knowledge, and that the administration planned to “synchronize technological progress with our principles” and called on other countries and private businesses to do the same.
 
“Authoritarian regimes have made new technology the newest battleground in the war on freedom of expression,” said Paula Schriefer, Freedom House’s director of advocacy. “We are encouraged to see the Obama administration focusing their efforts on this issue and look forward to seeing it implemented in policy.”
 
Tying internet freedom to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Clinton talked of the importance of ensuring freedom of expression and association on the web and criticized authoritarian regimes--China, Uzbekistan, Iran, Tunisia and Egypt—who have stepped up efforts to censor the internet. The State Department has also pledged financial support for private projects and movements that promote internet freedom and urged those with innovative ideas to apply.
 
“We look to the Obama Administration to show leadership on this issue by working with other democratic governments to press for internet freedom, building partnerships with business and civil society, and spending diplomatic capital to push back internet censorship and surveillance,” said Daniel Calingaert, Freedom House’s deputy director of programs.

For more information on internet freedom, visit:
 
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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