2/14/2006

U.S. Moves to Fight Internet Censorship

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 3:03 pm

The United States said Tuesday it plans to aggressively combat efforts by foreign governments to restrict Internet use.

At a news conference, Josette Shiner, a top State Department trade expert, called the Internet “the greatest purveyor of news and information in history.” Too often, she said, the flow is blocked by government censors.

China, in particular, has been accused of manipulating the Internet to abuse its citizens’ rights. U.S. lawmakers say American Internet companies have given China new ways to silence dissent in return for access to a booming market. Yahoo! Inc., for example, has been accused of helping Chinese police identify and convict a journalist who criticized human rights abuses.

Four U.S. Internet companies were scheduled to appear Wednesday at a House of Representatives hearing examining their business practices in China.

The State Department has formed a task force that will consider, among other issues, the foreign policy aspects of Internet freedom, including the use of technology to restrict access to political content.

Shiner said the U.S. government considers it a top priority “to do all we can to ensure maximum access to information over the Internet.”

Source: AP

 

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