What's worse, the Defense Authorization Act or the Stop Online Piracy Act?
Hillary Clinton and Internet Freedom
Hypocrisy from the U.S. Government — having U.S. officials self-righteously impose standards on other countries which they routinely violate — is so common and continuous that the vast majority of examples do not even merit notice. But sometimes, it is so egregious and shameless — and sufficiently consequential — that it should not go unobserved. Such is the case with the speech delivered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday at a Conference on Internet Freedom held at the Hague, a conference devoted to making “a stand for freedom of expression on the internet, especially on behalf of cyber dissidents and bloggers.”
She astutely observed that “those who push these plans often do so in the name of security.” She added that “the first challenge is for the private sector to embrace its role in protecting internet freedom,” which — she lamented — has not always happened: “A few years ago, the headlines were about companies turning over sensitive information about political dissidents. Earlier this year, they were about a company shutting down the social networking accounts of activists in the midst of a political debate.” She concluded with a real flourish: “Our government will continue to work very hard to get around every barrier that repressive governments put up” even though such governments will try to maintain those barriers “by resorting to greater oppression.”
What Hillary Clinton is condemning here is exactly that which not only the administration in which she serves, but also she herself, has done in one of the most important Internet freedom cases of the last decade: WikiLeaks. And beyond that case, both Clinton specifically and the Obama administration generally have waged a multi-front war on Internet freedom.
[...]Perhaps worst of all, many of the administration’s key allies in the Senate are now pushing a bill – in the name of stopping online piracy (SOPA) — that would vest the U.S. government and the largest corporations with draconian powers literally to shut down or otherwise disable Internet sites without due process. Hillary Clinton personally ”tacitly endorsed that bill,” enabling the bill’s key Democratic Congressional supporters to tout State Department support for it. As EFF’s Trevor Timm recently wrote: “Ironically, we know from the WikiLeaks cables that the State Department has also aggressively lobbied many other countries for strict new laws similar to SOPA. They have even offered to fund enforcement and literally draft the laws that sacrifice free speech for greater copyright protection for Hollywood.”
here's glenn talking with cenk uygur on current's young turks...
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