Friday, January 22, 2010

freedom to connect

free wi fi

On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress. But the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world's information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a speech delivered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. just yesterday. Transcript provided online by Foreign Policy.

An important read. Many thanks to @derekeb for passing this one along.

Clinton lays down several freedoms, consciously modeled after FDR's Four Freedoms speech. They include:

Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Worship
Freedom from Want
Freedom from Fear
Freedom to Connect

I'll have more to say about this in time (when I don't have to run off to my day job) -- chiefly because I'm unnerved by U.S. hegemony on the Internet and the muddling of public and private online spaces where personal expression takes place -- but for now I'm simply glad that the U.S. government is framing the Internet freedoms conversation in terms of human rights.

It's a good beginning.

No nation, group, or individual should stay buried in the rubble of oppression. We cannot stand by while people are separated from our human family by walls of censorship. And we cannot be silent about these issues simply because we cannot hear their cries. Let us recommit ourselves to this cause. Let us make these technologies a force for real progress the world over. And let us go forward together to champion these freedoms.

— Hillary Clinton

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