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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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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.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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