Freedom House supports the Global Online Freedom Act (GOFA) 2.0, which was introduced today in the U.S. Congress as H.R. 3605. The bill, which would hinder the ability of U.S. companies to sell surveillance and censorship technologies to repressive governments, is crucial to the promotion of global internet freedom.
The sentencing on December 8 of Thai-born American citizen, Lerpong Wichaikhammat , “Joe Gordon”, to two and a half years in prison for defaming the monarchy is a clear violation of freedom of expression and a worrisome indicator of the Thai government is neglecting its human rights agenda.
In a startling one-two punch, China’s Communist regime won accolades last week from high-profile representatives of U.S. business and labor writing in America’s leading national newspapers. In the Wall Street Journal on December 1, former service workers’ union president Andy Stern touted China’s “superior economic model,” and in the New York Times on December 2, prominent Wall Street potentate Steven Rattner offered his guarantee that China’s speeding economic locomotive would remain firmly on track.
On December 4, despite blatant and desperate efforts by the Russian leadership and the party of power, United Russia, to skew results in their favor, Russian voters sent a strong message of discontent to long-serving leader Vladimir Putin. The rampant harassment of opposition and civil society groups, cyber attacks on liberal platforms like Live Journal and the independent election monitoring organization GOLOS, and pervasive fraud and ballot stuffing were not able to hide the fact that many Russians have grown tired with the corrupt status quo and all that United Russia represents. While United Russia received 64 percent of the vote in the 2007 Duma elections, they were in 2011 unable to win even 50 percent of the vote.