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

Related Articles

The World is His Oyster: Connected Solutions Enable Daniel Ward to See Food

By: Paula Bernier    3/16/2018

Fresh seafood can taste great, but if it is not handled properly, people can get sick, and that can lead to business closures and lost revenues. That'…

Read More

How to Get Ready for GDPR if You've Waited Until the Last Minute

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

With less than two months until the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) deadline, many companies have already started making sure that their bu…

Read More

How Fintech is Helping Create Global Businesses

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

The growth of Fintech probably has not escaped your attention. Whether you're a customer making contactless payments or an investor weighing up CFD tr…

Read More

Are We Prepared for Automation?

By: Special Guest    3/13/2018

We are barreling toward a future of automation. A great proportion of the six million US manufacturing jobs that have disappeared over the last few de…

Read More

The Dark Web - A Hot Bed for Cybercrime

By: Special Guest    3/12/2018

There is a corner of the internet that is cloaked from every day users. Beneath the typical search engines and web browsers, an illegal marketplace is…

Read More