State Dept. Establishes Task Force on Global Internet Freedom

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 14, 2006

Following up on recent postings: Yahoo Issues Statement on Chinese Net Censorship, Net Censorship Abroad – Free Speech Colides With E-commerce? and Hearing Focuses on Internet Censorship in China, related news today via this State Dept. press release – statement of Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Josette Shiner: “I’m pleased to join you here today…to announce State’s Global Internet Freedom Task Force. Since its launch a little over a decade ago, the internet has proven to be the greatest purveyor of news and information in history. From a small band of university researchers sharing documents to people — over a billion people connecting in real-time around the globe, the internet has proven to be a force multiplier for freedom and a censor’s nightmare, as efforts by repressive regimes have failed to fully restrict or block growth and access to the internet. Nevertheless, there are severe challenges to this openness. It’s a top priority for the State Department and the U.S. Government to do all we can to ensure maximum access to information over the internet and to ensure minimum success by censors to information or silence legitimate debate in this global town hall.”
Additional news on Internet freedom:

  • As reported by Agence France Press, “The Chinese government has adopted supervisory measures to limit those immoral and harmful (Internet) contents… the goal is to safeguard the people’s interest,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.”
  • AP: Web Companies Caught in Free Speech Fight
  • New York Times: In Rare Briefing, China Defends Internet Controls
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