Clinton to Speak Up for Internet Freedom

By Cindy Waxer February 15, 2011

The U.S. State Department has released excerpts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on Internet freedoms, which emphasize the country’s commitment to a free, open and secure Internet.

"There is a debate underway in some circles about whether the Internet is a force for liberation or repression. But as the events in Iran, Egypt and elsewhere have shown, that debate is largely beside the point," reads one excerpt of Clinton's speech. "What matters is what people who go online do there, and what principles should guide us as we come together in cyberspace. That question becomes more urgent every day," Clinton will say, according to the excerpts of her address.

Citing Internet-supported protests in Egypt and Iran, Clinton will make a strong case for technology’s role on the political stage in her second major address on Internet policy. As reported by Reuters, under Clinton, the U.S. State Department has upheld Internet openness as a basic human right. Nevertheless, the Department has struggled to contain the damage done by the WikiLeaks releases, and Clinton herself has condemned the distribution of these U.S. diplomatic cables.

It’s no wonder. WikiLeaks quoted a secret cable in which Clinton described India and its three partners (Brazil, Germany and Japan) as “self-appointed front runners” for membership in the U.N. Security Council, according to a report from a newspaper in India.

And as reported earlier by, the White House press office was among many who condemned the release of the confidential cables. “By releasing stolen and classified documents, WikiLeaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals,” said the White House statement. “We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.”

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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