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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: 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.


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