Patricia Moloney Figliola, Casey L. Addis & Thomas Lum, U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom, Issues, Policy and Technology

From the article’s summary:

“The openness and the freedom of expression allowed through blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other tools of today’s communications technology has proven to be an unprecedented and often disruptive force in some closed societies. Governments that seek to maintain their authority and control the ideas and information their citizens receive are often caught in a dilemma: they feel that they need access to the Internet to participate in commerce in the global market and for economic growth and technological development, but fear that allowing open access to the Internet potentially weakens their control over their citizens. The ongoing situation of Google in China is representative of these issues.

Legislation now under consideration in the 111th Congress would mandate that U.S. companies selling Internet technologies and services to repressive countries take actions to combat censorship and protect personally identifiable information…

This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections:

• Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran,

• Relevant U.S. laws,

• U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom,

• Private sector initiatives, and

• Congressional action.

Two appendixes describe technologies and mechanisms for censorship and circumvention of government restrictions.”

The full text is available at:…