Clinton pledges support for open internet
In a major policy speech on internet freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted states that restricted internet access for their citizens, and said that in the long run it would backfire on those countries, dpa reported.
The top US diplomat called for common global standards that balanced three main challenges to ensure an open and reliable internet: achieving both liberty and security, protecting transparency and confidentiality and protecting free expression while fostering tolerance and civility.
"Finding the proper measure for the Internet is critical because the qualities that make the Internet a force for unprecedented progress - its openness, its level effect, its reach and speed - also enable wrongdoing on an unprecedented scale," Clinton said.
She argued that recent events in Iran and Egypt showed that governments could not benefit from the economic advantages offered by internet access while blocking the exchange of political views it allowed.
"Walls that block political content are far easier to erect than maintain," said Clinton. "Maintaining barriers that attempt to change this reality has unsustainable costs in the long run. When countries curtail internet freedom, they place limits on their economic future."
"Instead, I urge countries everywhere to join us in a bet we have made - a bet that an open Internet will lead to stronger, more prosperous countries."