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Speech denounces countries that prevent the free flow of information to citizens

Americans and citizens of other free nations take many of our freedoms for granted. We can do and say what we want without fearing prison. We can get on the internet and get any information we want, even if other people don’t like it. In some countries, citizens can only access the information that their government wants them to see.

The most infamous country in the world for censoring what citizens can see online is China. China isn’t the lone country that censors access to information though; Tunisia and Uzbekistan both censor the internet, and Egypt has detained bloggers who disagree with the government before.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denounced countries that use technology to prevent citizens from accessing information freely. Clinton delivered the speech on January 21 and outlined the five key freedoms of the internet age that will be used to help build U.S. policy.

Clinton's speech outlined the commitment of the U.S. to freedom of speech and worship online, the freedom to connect to the internet anywhere, and the freedom to live without fear of cyber attacks.

Clinton said, "Countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century. In the last year, we've seen a spike in threats to the free flow of information. China, Tunisia and Uzbekistan have stepped up their censorship of the Internet."

She continued saying, "[The internet] has already been a source of tremendous progress in China, and it is fabulous there are so many people in China now online." Clinton added, "The United States and China have different views on this issue. And we intend to address those differences candidly and consistently in the context of our positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship."

The comments come after the U.S. asked China for an explanation for the cyber attacks against search giant Google and 30 other U.S. companies that were targeted in attacks that originated in China. Google has stated that it may consider leaving the Chinese market due to the attacks and the censorship of its search results required by the Chinese government.

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How ironic
By bohrd on 1/22/2010 10:24:40 AM , Rating: 5
Sadly the Chinese people will never see that speech as it probably will be censored by their government.

It's kind of like making fun of the Amish on TV, they would never know.

RE: How ironic
By AnnihilatorX on 1/22/2010 10:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
The tech savy would know, the majority won't care.
I know some who'd use proxies, Tor to slip through the great firewall. I don't think ordinary citizens would care about outside world information when most are written in English they know nothing about.

RE: How ironic
By rcreyes on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: How ironic
By weskurtz0081 on 1/22/2010 11:14:11 AM , Rating: 5

That was a VERY informed and intelligent post! Thanks for contributing!

RE: How ironic
By mydogfarted on 1/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: How ironic
By ClownPuncher on 1/22/2010 2:51:30 PM , Rating: 5
Yet we still have the choice on watching that or the outside media.

RE: How ironic
By weskurtz0081 on 1/22/2010 4:42:01 PM , Rating: 3
Of course I have. I have been all over the world. Do you think most places are a lot different? Some regions have better media outlets, but they are all biased in there own way.

RE: How ironic
By CENGJINYIWEI on 1/31/10, Rating: -1
RE: How ironic
By HoundRogerson on 1/22/2010 11:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
Screw the news, my life is depressing enough without hearing about the constant barrage of fires, floods, murder, and rape.

RE: How ironic
By Motoman on 1/22/2010 11:44:39 AM , Rating: 3
The other thing to keep in mind is that the Chinese have been educated from birth that information can be harmful, and it is in their best interest to have their government protect them from such harmful information, lest they be harmed.

As stupid as that categorically is, human beings being what they are will frequently accept such "education" and believe it. Just like religion can produce women who honestly believe they should be subservient to their husbands. There is no limit to how far you can twist someone's own sense of self-worth, given time and authority to do it.

RE: How ironic
By kyp275 on 1/22/2010 4:26:31 PM , Rating: 1
The other thing to keep in mind is that the Chinese have been educated from birth that information can be harmful, and it is in their best interest to have their government protect them from such harmful information, lest they be harmed.

Really, I must have missed that class...but then I wasn't born on the mainland.

RE: How ironic
By Motoman on 1/22/2010 5:41:58 PM , Rating: 2, Hong Kong or Taiwan?

I am lead to believe that those areas are considerably less, shall we say, authoritarian than mainland China.

However, standard Chinese rhetoric around having to "protect" it's citizens from "harmful" information such as pornography, democracy, political dissidents, etc. is all over the internet.

...depending on who you are, porn may be offensive...but unless it is produced in an abusive manner, porn is not in and of itself harmful. As for discussing democracy or political dissent - the only group of people who can be "harmed" by that is the communist government of China.

RE: How ironic
By Penti on 1/24/2010 11:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
Taiwan is it's own sovereign nation.

There's a few territories that belong to PRC that has their own political and social system and governance. Hong Kong is still what most would call a country of it's own just not sovereign, it's a SAR and was British as recently as 97. It has it's own political system. Macau is also a SAR with it's own unique system. Hong Kong actually has a multi-party system. Just not it's own military. The communist party don't rule there. It's still a common law system.

RE: How ironic
By woosty on 1/24/2010 11:28:26 PM , Rating: 2

You are right, there are more freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

It's been a culture in China that the authorities control everything including information, in last, well, like 1000+ year's history of the country.

When you get the chance to visit Beijing and see the forbiden city you may get a better idea. It's sad, as a chinese myself, to see that a so called royal family used to own so much by taking from people, and then wall themself from the people they ruled.

It's getting better IMO, I was born in the Mainland, and I had some sort of those lessons that you mentioned in your post, but the younger generations, they sure able to access much much more information that 10, or even 2 years ago.

Lastly, nowadays ppl in China are accessing to a lots, really a lots, of porn contents on the internet :-)

RE: How ironic
By chick0n on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: How ironic
By mindless1 on 1/23/2010 2:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
You really think ANY country's media is telling them the OTHER country is better?

The people in China are in fact trained to do without information. That allowed their culture to evolve with the persistent ability of the government to control it.

The "classes" are social reinforcement of behavior, more ingrained in the society than any one class with an instructor could ever be.

I'm not suggesting any one country is better than the other, only that the people uphold the society, their choices are based on what they are taught through observation if nothing else. Surely you don't feel they vote to be restricted from info on a whim or roll of the dice but rather they are taught to tolerate it.

RE: How ironic
By chick0n on 1/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: How ironic
By Motoman on 1/24/2010 12:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
Newsflash: education is not restricted to the classroom.

The PRC government putting up the Great Firewall of China to "protect it's citizens from harmful information" such as political dissidence and information about democracy IS educating the Chinese people that information is harmful and that the government must protect them from it.

Not to invoke the internet's favorite rule, but the same thing happened with Hitler took over Germany - he started educating the German people that there was this master race, that Jews were the root of all evil, that the Aryan people were entitled to their third reich, etc. It's education, whether it happens in a school room or not.

RE: How ironic
By mindless1 on 1/23/2010 2:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
There is a good reason why women were taught to be subservient to their husbands. If there is a disagreement, it is a 1:1 tie vote, nothing can ever get accomplished unless one or the other is the leader.

Now, don't get me wrong in some relationships the women are the better leaders, but that is now with them acquiring leadership skills out in the workforce, you were speaking of how history influences the present and that is all I meant to reply to, BUT what happens today will eventually be considered history too, that changes the culture.

It is still the woman's decision in any reasonable society, whether to marry a man that will not defer to her judgment and question his own when there is an issue strongly disagreed upon, and vice-versa, it takes two to happily co-exist.

Short version: Cultures don't change overnight. China's doesn't either. Somebody has to lead and the rest have to follow. Let every individual have equal say in *everything* and you only have chaos.

So ultimately, Hilary's message didn't need to reach the people, it needed to impress upon their government what our stance is on the issue... a bit of peer pressure, at some point they won't be able to keep a straight face and think of themselves as modern and developed if they starve themselves of information.

RE: How ironic
By snyper256 on 1/23/2010 4:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
We don't need "leaders" and "followers", we are capable of greater understanding so that we can work together toward any common goal. This goes for anyone.

Everyone has intellect.

RE: How ironic
By mindless1 on 1/25/2010 3:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
False, and especially false when there are only two opposing votes.

THINK about it. Working together when there is difference in opinion still means one way or another, seldom is there some kind of 50% middle ground, only renegotiations and in those, there is still the necessity that either both parties agree, or one be the leader and the other the follower.

It doesn't matter if everyone has intellect but in fact, it is irrelevant because not everyone has equal intellect, not everyone has equal judgement, equal foresight, equal experience, equal risk, equal responsability, equal problem solving skills, equal income when it's a monetary matter,

... or if you like they could just flip a coin, good luck with that.

RE: How ironic
By amanojaku on 1/22/2010 12:12:12 PM , Rating: 3
It's kind of like making fun of the Amish on TV, they would never know.
That is what thou thinkest. Watch thy tongue lest we kick thine arse!

RE: How ironic
By MonkeyPaw on 1/22/2010 4:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly the Chinese people will never see that speech as it probably will be censored by their government.

If I remember right, when Obama was over there last year, he, too, spoke out against censorship. Those comments were edited out of the broadcast to the Chinese people. The problem is, the US owes way too much money to China for their government to really take any US rhetoric seriously. The Chinese government's biggest concern was if the US is able to make the interest payments after their big debt-driven spending spree. They were also worried that the US was going to devalue the dollar to lessen the debt load. It's kinda hard to get China's attention when it's clearly focused elsewhere.

RE: How ironic
By Penti on 1/24/2010 11:56:27 AM , Rating: 1
US accepted China (PRC) as a legitimate sovereign power back under Nixon in the 70s and established diplomatic relations in 78. He visited China in 72. 71 the world gave PRC their seat in the UN replacing the then still dictatorship ROC (Taiwan). Trade soon exploded. China was never in the same category as the Soviet countries and "satellites". It has always had it's own interests.

Talk about pressuring China about democracy and freedoms is just bullshit. They are already accepted. They know they are already accepted and outside the academic field don't need to care. It has nothing to do with debt. If US is criticized they don't respond to it and neither does China need to. US has it's own history of abuse.

RE: How ironic
By superPC on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: How ironic
By masamasa on 1/22/2010 5:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
"and if you ever talk to someone that lives in china (city not countryside), they would tell you that freedom is a price worth paying for that economical growth."

They will tell you the opposite, among other things mentioned in this thread. Who do you think is getting the benefit of the economic growth? It isn't the people. To sum it up and rich get richer and.....well you know the old saying.

RE: How ironic
By superPC on 1/22/2010 5:32:29 PM , Rating: 2
you may be right there about who gets the most benefit out of economic growth. but the poor stand to loose more in a civil unrest or civil war as the rich would undoubtedly have long left the country before that happened (or have better protection). you might say china is choosing the lesser of two evil (civil unrest or no freedom).

RE: How ironic
By Penti on 1/24/2010 12:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
Many in the cities are actually rich party members, it's those who can send their kids to study abroad. I.e. they make more then most working class people or blue collar workers in the west.

The rest is stuck earning like $150 a month living at a factory dormitory. Or a really crappy apartment. But there's still hundreds of millions that got a high living standard. Got their own apartments or houses, good paying jobs, can afford to travel, own a car and so forth. The party would be nothing without members. Then you also always got the people who's poor and are working in the informal sector living on building sites, illegal housing, squatting in make shift houses, under bridges or whatever.

Then again, US got millions of illegal immigrants living in sub standard housing, running it's agricultural sector. There's problems in any society. US is pretty broken.

RE: How ironic
By asthion on 1/24/2010 2:15:34 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it's ironic that ANY American politician cries foul on censorship and illegally tracking its citizens.

You have heard of the PATRIOT Act (we REALLY need a Truth In Acronyms Act) and the NSA's warrantless wiretapping frenzy?

RE: How ironic
By OKMIJN4455 on 1/24/2010 6:38:24 AM , Rating: 1
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RE: How ironic
By CHAOQIANG on 1/25/2010 10:24:12 PM , Rating: 1
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By TexMurphy on 1/22/2010 1:20:35 PM , Rating: 1
I've created an account JUST to give this comment because the person who wrote this article ahs said something so utterly ridiculous, and here it goes:

"Americans and citizens of other free nations take many of our freedoms for granted. We can do and say what we want without fearing prison. We can get on the internet and get any information we want, even if other people don’t like it."

Well I'll tell you what, you go up to a state official and accuse him or murdering kids and then call him a child molestor. Then you go home and look up bomb making and child porn on the net. Then, when you're in prison, shedding a tear whilst a large bear of a man plays 'daddy' to your 'mummy', you can comfort yourself with this article.

RE: Incredible.
By Regs on 1/22/2010 2:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
Because when I want to blow off steam, I look for guides on how to build a bomb damnit.

RE: Incredible.
By cblais19 on 1/22/2010 2:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
The boundries of what is considered protected speech and what is not under the 1st Amendment have been well established, although challenged on occasion. Free Speech is a relative term, and should be understood as such. It was never intended for people to launch defamatory attacks and be protected under the Bill of Rights, and other such forms of "expression."

RE: Incredible.
By TSS on 1/22/2010 6:11:03 PM , Rating: 3
You mean you haven't read the anarchists cookbook? last i checked was years ago and like 6-7 versions where out by then. Haven't been to jail for it so far, but that can be because i haven't actually put that information to use.

Nor have i ever walked up to an official and called them a child molestor, because, well, why the hell would i want to do that? Just because of free speech?

Your freedom is a right established by society (or whoever controls it). And with rights come obligations. If your given a freedom to use, it's your obligation not to abuse it. It's the only way freedom will work. Otherwise, it's not freedom, it's anarchie. Hiding behind free speech to cause intentional harm isn't an use, it's an abuse.

RE: Incredible.
By chick0n on 1/22/2010 8:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
then what is the problem with China banning people from watching p0rn ?

Every country has their own set of rules, just because you Americans think its "ok/normal" doesn't mean its ok for some other country.

Stop Forcing your standard on the others. Which is what Americans always do.

RE: Incredible.
By snyper256 on 1/23/2010 4:38:16 PM , Rating: 3
My freedom comes from being a sovereign being, who can make his own thoughts, opinions and choices.

Not from some illusory authority telling me what I can and can't do, although they would like to think differently.

RE: Incredible.
By mindless1 on 1/23/2010 3:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
WTF does accusing a state official wrongly have to do with your ability to access info?

You can in fact go home and look up bomb making. What you can't do, is go get materials and make bombs because the former is just information and the latter is building a harmful weapon, illegal.

Nobody ever claimed the US has no laws whatsoever, certainly in any civilized society a certain class of weapon has to be decided upon as too excessive to fall into the average uncertified citizens' hands or that use has no legitimate purpose except an illegal one.

As for child pron, you got us there, but that is not really information, that is sexual gratification to a point of perversion that has been shown to harm children. Even if one just sits at home looking at that crap, it creates a market for it that exploits and ultimately harms those children.

So in order to keep peace and protect those who cannot protect themselves so much, yes we limit certain things. If you equate that kind of limited censure to the opposite policy of assume all is censured except what the government allows, you have totally missed the point that it is what the people decided.

The people in the US, the vast majority decided pedophiles should be in prison. The same cannot be said for the majority of Chinese people hoping their government would block their internet access instead of them making their own choices what not to do.

So yes in some nonsensical absolute way, nobody really has 100% unlimited freedom to do whatever they want to harm others. It shouldn't come as a surprise, this is pretty much mandatory for a civilization to flourish. On the other hand, if you go up to your senator and tell him you believe people should have the right to build bombs or watch child pron, the unlawful people might beat the tar out of you but you won't go to prison for speaking your opinion about it.

By Sazabi19 on 1/22/2010 10:23:17 AM , Rating: 1
Well hell, if it's Hillary then i guess they will all just uncensor everything, it is Hillary Clinton after all...

BTW, is'nt China still a male dominant society? As in women don't count as much? Just an after-thought. I'm sure she swayed them good;)

RE: OK....?
By zyzeast on 1/22/2010 11:48:47 AM , Rating: 2
you are thinking japan...

RE: OK....?
By Sazabi19 on 1/22/2010 1:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
I know the women in japan have classically been 2nd class citizens in Japan but have made strides much as american women did during the femenist movt. I was under the same impression for China, meant nothing negative by it. But honestly, we (US) doesnt even take Hilary siriously, why should anyone else? And the culture of Japan is changing rapidly, i lived there for 4 1/2 yrs, alot of the older women were still very docile and quiet, but the next gen of Japanese will not be quite the same way. The teenagers were louder, rowdy, and more rambunctius (not bad). It is honestly becoming more... Americanized? over there.

RE: OK....?
By zyzeast on 1/22/2010 2:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's definitely not the same in China. Women rights compared to males in China is no different than in the US. A lot of families still prefer to have a male child over a female child but that's another story completely.

RE: OK....?
By mindless1 on 1/23/2010 3:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
but that's not because Hilary is a woman, it's because she is psycho, and because her husband was caught getting BJ's while in office. If nothing else, who you not only pick to marry, but stay married to, says something about you.

I would call the shift in culture amongst the teenagers bad. They are basically adopting the "ME ME ME" self-centered consumer mentality which is also eroding the US workforce and educational system.

They can text message and twitter, but can they accept that only the top few percent will be making important decisions and the rest, all their employer wants of them is to shut up and obey commands?

Kids these days seem to think their purpose is to make the world change, instead of accepting their purpose is to make something that causes the world to want to change. There is a difference but they don't usually see it right away.

RE: OK....?
By clovell on 1/22/2010 3:33:09 PM , Rating: 4
The Secretary of State to the leader of the Free World delivered criticisms which stung Chna hard enough to give the typical BS propaganda response we've come to expect.

I can count the number of issues on which I agree with Hillary on one hand. I have fundamenal issues with most of what she believes in. At the same time, she is an amazing woman and is an example to women the world over that gender stereotypes can be overcome, and that women have a stake in leading and shaping our world.

Retarded Report
By SiN on 1/22/2010 11:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's a little paranoia, but i think freedom of speech and information is less free than you think. There is no such thing as freedom of speech. You still get bad treatment if you say something to upset an official. You can't tell an officer to fuck off for not doing their job right. If you are looking at the "bad" information you can be classed as a terrorist.

Last time i checked, you could be slammed for file sharing because you were monitored.

RE: Retarded Report
By mindless1 on 1/23/2010 3:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
If you tell an officer to fvck off, you are trying to cause a disturbance, you are not trying to voice an opinion that they are not doing their job right.

You do in fact have the freedom in the US to claim an official or officer is not doing their job properly. Look at all the political websites out there for proof.

It's not paranoia, it's learning the difference between constructive criticism and trying to be an ass. If you try to be an ass, people will look for ways to trip you up so you do eventually break a law they can get you on, and being hot-headed filled with emotion enough to say "fvck off", I'll bet it would be easy for them to do it.

Bottom line- if you can't use information to get your way, don't expect personal emotion to force another person to personally feel the same emotion, or at least not towards the end you wanted.

Piss someone off and it'd be silly to think they are more rather than less likely to be aligned with you. Basic common sense, not lack of freedom of speech.

There's always going to be some kind of personal restraint necessary to keep peace. For example if we make it legal to kill each other, how stable will society be if we don't still restrain ourselves from doing it?

Has anyone here actually lived in China??
By jmcelroy on 1/24/2010 2:26:44 AM , Rating: 1
Usually with these kinds of articles I see a lot of strangely detailed and opinionated comments from people who clearly have no clue what it is like living or growing up in China. In my experience, there are a lot of creative college students who basically get access to all the porn and sensitive info they want without consequence. At least near the coast and in the big cities this is true... If people really want to have access to something, they generally can get it.

Sure I've met a few party touting Chinese who can still remember a spot of Russian when that was deemed important, but for every one of those, I know a dozens of kids wearing Adidas and eating a big mac who couldn't give a shit about Mao.

By carage on 1/28/2010 7:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
Your post is true to a certain degree.
If people really want to have access to something, they generally can get it...AFTER JUMPING THROUGH LOTS OF HOOPS or paying the price. Heck, a colleague of mine claimed he can even subscribe to Penthouse after paying off the right people at the local post office.
For instance, let's talk about the GFW, everyone knows it is not perfect and there are a lot of tools that allow people to get pass the wall. UltraSurf, FreeGate, Garden to name a few. However, the trouble is these tools don't always work. When the government is really serious, none of these tools work, this happened to me during their October 1st celebration holiday. Even if it works, most of these tools practice censorship themselves as they are sponsored by religious/polital organizations (we all know who), so in the end I still don't get access to the porn sites I signed up back in the states. (I really miss my ISG) So in the end you are left with the final solution, a VPN subscription and that will cost you. This opens another can of worms, as costs can range from as little as 30RMB per month to 1000 RMB per month, connection speeds and service varies accordingly. Some of these VPNs are good for online games, others offer better speed/privacy for browsing, so you need to do your research before signing up. Oh, even though the government might not be able to see what you are doing with your encrypted access, they might assume you are doing something wrong and terminate your service.
If you are familiar with P2P applications, you should be able to do well in terms of finding porn. If not, life will be much harder.

What about Australia?
By Director on 1/22/2010 4:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
China? Uzbekistan?

What about Australia?

I find it hard to believe that Hillary is unaware of the current Australian government plans to force ISP's to filter all internet content according to a secret government blacklist?

Do some research on the 'Great Australian Firewall' we 'thought' we'd killed it off last year but our government has tabled it again for August.

Our Hate Crimes = Thought Crimes
By sapiens74 on 1/22/2010 9:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
We should watch our own oppression first

By Screwballl on 1/23/2010 6:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
lets get some old person, who even admitted in her own speech (that I saw portions of) that she really does not know much about technology in any way... so I was asking the TV "why the f**k is she doing a conference or even talking about it?"

That would be like me doing a conference or speech on The impact of lead paint on mitochondria... I have no clue so I won't talk about it or even give an opinion about it.

Oh well typical bureaucrat she is.

The Good News
By hiscross on 1/24/2010 2:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
China is a Communist country. They are doing what Marx said they should do and that is free the mid from Thinking. You know like free health care for those who don't want to Think how they can prevent living an unhealthy life style. Of all the printed books in the world, only the Bible talks about how to Think and live. It tells you the Good News of a life free from he worlds sins (it also tells you how to live a healthy life). Christianity is growing in China because the Chinese people know what it is like to live as a slave under Communism. Those same Chinese Christians know how to free others from that slavery, even at the risk of their own safety. They aren't forcing others to believe in Christ, but providing non-believers the Good News of Jesus. Takes more courage than giving a speech.

Cheap online shopping
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