Clinton Warns Against Helping Tyrannies with Technology

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez December 08, 2011

United States Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton made a statement today discouraging Internet service equipment distributors and software companies from selling products to tyrannical governments like Iran and Syria, considering that these governments would simply use the technologies to further restrict human rights.

She’s telling Internet and software companies what they should sell to Iran, but the United States also uses software and tech equipment to have a peek at people’s activities online. Clinton does have a point, however. Companies should do as much as they can to promote freedom, not aid in restricting it, and she made this message clear today in an international conference for freedoms on the Internet hosted in the Netherlands and co-hosted by Google.

“It is most urgent, of course, for those around the world whose words are now censored, who are imprisoned because of what they or others have written online, who are blocked from accessing entire categories of Internet content, or who are being tracked by governments seeking to keep them from connecting with one another. When companies sell surveillance equipment to the security agency of Syria, or Iran, or, in past times, (former Libyan leader Muammar) Gaddafi, there can be no doubt it will be used to violate rights,” she said.

The countries most accused of violating rights inside of the conference were Syria, Russia, Iran, Tunisia, and Egypt. There is still no word on how they plan to restrict a company’s right to sell to a government designated a tyranny.

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt commented, “We are joined in a sprit to fight people who want to shut down free speech. It makes easy sense for a government to say: ‘We don’t like that. We’re going to curtail them. We’re going to shut it down. We’re going to censor it.”

He later mentioned that the conference was organized to “make the point that this is not right.”



Miguel Leiva-Gomez is a professional writer with experience in computer sciences, technology, and gadgets. He has written for multiple technology and travel outlets and owns his own tech blog called The Tech Guy, where he writes educational, informative, and sometimes comedic articles for an audience that is less versed in technology.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Is 5G a Spectrum-eating Monster that Destroys Competition?

By: Fred Goldstein    6/15/2018

To hear the current FCC talk about it, 5G mobile service is the be-all and end-all of not only mobile communications, but the answer to most of the co…

Read More

FX Group Makes the Red Carpet Shoppable with Blockchain-Based mCart Marketplace-as-a-Service

By: TMCnet News    6/14/2018

mCart by Mavatar announces the launch of the world's first blockchain-based decentralized mCart marketplace by the FX Group.

Read More

Judge Gives AT&T-Time Warner Deal Green Light

By: Paula Bernier    6/12/2018

Federal judge Richard Leon gave the $85 billion deal the green light today - and without any requirements to sell off any parts of the company. He als…

Read More

A New Foundation for Evolving Blockchain As a Fundamental Network Technology

By: Arti Loftus    6/12/2018

There are now thousands of blockchains, and unless you are a cryptophile, you won't recognize most of them.

Read More