Embassy of the U.S. Tallinn, February 16, 2011
An open, secure Internet that is accessible to all is crucial to peace and economic prosperity, says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"We are convinced that an open Internet fosters long-term peace, progress and prosperity," Clinton said in a speech delivered February 15 at George Washington University in Washington. An Internet that can be blocked and censored, she said, "can cut off opportunities for peace and progress and discourage innovation and entrepreneurship."
Efforts by repressive governments to wall off segments of the Internet are doomed to failure, Clinton said. With 2 billion people now online, not only will people find ways to get around such obstacles, but stifling free expression on the Internet hampers economic innovation and opens the door for greater corruption.
The United States has found strong partners in preserving an open Internet among several governments worldwide, including Estonia with its expertise in cyber defense and security, and is encouraged by the Global Network Initiative, which brings together companies, academics and nongovernmental organizations to handle issues like government censorship and the use of technologies in ways that may violate human rights.
The struggle for Internet freedom, Clinton concluded, is a struggle for human rights, human freedom and human dignity.
You may view video of the speech here:
Internet the Public Space of the 21st Century