Freedom Online -- Preserving an Open Internet

December 9, 2011
Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at Freedom Online Conference at The Hague

Today in the Netherlands, 23 countries from every region in the world, including the United States, have come together with technology corporations and civil society organizations to make tangible progress on Internet freedom.

First, the governments gathered here today committed ourselves to common action to protect free expression, assembly and association in the Digital Age. This includes cooperation to advance internet freedom in our diplomacy with individual countries as well as multilateral forums. Second, we agreed to expand global support for cyber activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in repressive environments, including through a new Digital Defenders partnership that would provide support, including financial, to embattled digital activists and civil society organizations. Finally, we are engaging with Internet and technology corporations on how their technologies and their corporate policies can play a positive and proactive role in respecting the exercise of fundamental human rights.

These very practical initiatives are putting our commitment to Internet freedom into action on a global stage. In Secretary Clinton's three landmark speeches on Internet freedom, she has laid out a far reaching vision for the future of Internet freedom. The State Department has made Internet freedom a daily priority of U.S. diplomacy with foreign governments, and in our relationships with civil society and corporations. And since 2008, the United States has committed over $70 million for grants and programming to support Internet freedom. Today's conference advances international collaboration to support universal freedoms of expression, association and assembly. This event, and the wide cross-regional attendance it included, shows that Internet freedom isn't just a priority for individual countries -- it is now a global priority.

As Secretary Clinton said last night, "The right to express one's views, practice one's faith, peacefully assemble with others to pursue political or social change -- these are all rights to which all human beings are entitled, whether they choose to exercise them in a city square or an Internet chat room. And just as we have worked together since the last century to secure these rights in the material world, we must work together in this century to secure them in cyberspace. This is an urgent task."

Unfortunately, Internet freedom is increasingly under threat in many places. Repressive regimes understand the power of new technologies, and increasingly try to control them. Some governments are using advanced technologies to chill free expression, to stifle dissent and to monitor and persecute peaceful activists online and offline. Some are exerting expansive state control over content, over users, over companies, and over the infrastructure of the Internet. And they're trying to change national and international legal standards to legitimize a digital police state.

These trends are reinforced by the development of a largely unregulated private market in surveillance and monitoring technology, which is very happy to supply repressive governments with the tools they need to control expression and communication among their people.

To meet these challenges, governments that support Internet freedom are starting to work together and push back. But we can't do it alone -- we will need help from citizens, corporations and global civil society for what is likely to be a long, tough struggle with regimes that do not share our values or our views on the merits of openness. Today's conference is a big step forward.

For additional resources about the Department's engagement on internet freedom, visit: www.humanrights.gov/2011/12/07/ifreedom/

Comments

Comments

John
December 9, 2011

John writes:

Get rid of ALL the government intervention and parasitic activity they produce. Half the problem solved.

Develop technology so that it does not spy on the user and disseminate that users info into unsecured severs . There is no good or valid reason that every electronic device communicates the way that they do.

Forget cloud services - they will prove to be a folly in the future - decentralized services such as mail and social networking should be developed. It is harder to attack a million nodes rather than just one.Its is near imposable to control 10s of millions of nodes acting as one spread across the globe.

Encryption of the highest grade should be mandatory and made with no back doors (sorry law enforcement -looks like you will have to actually work)-

technology has been made weak out of bogus fear. that weak technology has made us less safe, enabled digital criminality (wonder why so many corporations and governments are easily hacked - just look at MS law enforcement pdf on how to hack their own safe operating system and circumvent their safe secure encryption - what a joke - its written so that a small child can carry out the instructions) and in turn we are all less free and less safe because of such practices. In short stop making false claims of safe and secure when there are inbuilt with known flaws. Convert to Linux (its free) at least if you are digitally abused - you don't have to pay your own money for it.(laugh) After all how many people are willing to pay to be slapped in the face...Given the success of some tech companies - seems quite a few.

Stop telling people that on line banking, commerce and social networking is safe -providing their real information across unsecured lines, unsecured servers are not safe. Even the encrypted connections are not safe - remember the bogus security keys for email, banking etc of recent? It never has been safe and is still not.

Large corporation and governments are easily hacked and defrauded - despite the huge money spent preventing it. What chance does an average user stand?

Security software is useless -it stops known problems only - the unknown problems are far greater than the known.

Start telling the truth about technology and the internet so people can make informed choices.

Do you know what your government, your ISP, the software on your device does with the information it collects and sends? Do you know how that information is used, disseminated and controlled - i bet not

Just like in real life - digital freedom is a myth - too bad because all the digital perversion prevents some folks from doing some real good.

Myself I wont be on line for much longer - paying money for equipment, paying money for access - for what - digital skulduggery and abuse. If people really knew what technology actually does and how it is being deployed and used - they would be appalled (if they had any common sense left).

Practice the safest and freest net NONET. For 9.99 a month ill sell it to you (Laugh) but if you have problems connecting try googling the problem (laugh)

On a final note - what moron thought that releasing the stuxnet virus was a good idea - digital bombs are not like conventional weapons that blow up =when you create a digital weapon - you also give your foe that weapon to alter, understand and advance their own technology - oh yeh then they fire it back at you. Not so smart. Common sense is dead.

With that enjoy your internet freedom at no cost, no discussion, no fuss - no mus - UNPLUG.

Zharkov
|
United States
December 9, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

Easy solution:

No internet freedom brings no UN membership.

No UN money, no UN speeches, no UN parties, no New York City, no hotel maids, etc.

force26
December 9, 2011

W.W. writes:

Now that you are claiming Internet freedom it means to me that there is no freedom in the cyber world neither in the real one...

It is time to change Mrs Secretary or there won't be a future for none of US ...

It is time to merry every single americans and leave the mobster financially leading a corrupted planet directioned to enrich the rich exploiting world population.

someone needs to be invetstigated

consider32
December 10, 2011

W.W. writes:

Same global source of information cutting country filters

.

Latest Stories

June 4, 2008

Looked at a Passport Lately?

About the Author: Priscilla Linn is the Curator at the U.S. Diplomacy Center. Forget your walking shoes when you travel… more

Pages