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Monday, July 26, 2010

Tear down that firewall! Promote Internet freedom

Washington Post editorial - Millions of people live in countries where the Internet is not free. Confined behind the elaborate firewalls of authoritarian regimes such as China and Iran, they find their rights to expression threatened online and off – by elaborate systems of monitoring and censorship and by harsh laws that punish bloggers with imprisonment or even death.

In January, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke powerfully in support of Internet freedom, saying, “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.”

Since then, the State Department has brought the issue of online freedom to the table in its diplomacy around the world and joined with Internet providers and social media companies to foster public-private partnership in Internet freedom. Such collaboration is key, since authoritarian regimes so often contract out the daily work of censorship to private companies.

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