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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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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 :-)

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