[Kictanet] Fw: [APC Forum] FYI: US Gov. Establishes New Global Internet Freedom Task Force

alice at apc.org alice at apc.org
Mon Feb 20 20:45:24 EAT 2006

> Secretary of State Establishes New Global Internet Freedom Task Force
> The Internet is a potent force for freedom around the world, but 
> challenges to its independence by repressive regimes threaten its 
> transformational power. In order to ensure a robust U.S. foreign policy 
> response to these challenges, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice 
> established the Global Internet Freedom Task Force (GIFT) on February 14, 
> 2006. In addressing challenges to Internet freedom, this internal task 
> force will draw on the Department of State's multidisciplinary expertise 
> in international communications policy, human rights, democratization, 
> business advocacy, corporate social responsibility, and relevant countries 
> and regions. The task force will report to the Secretary through Under 
> Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs Josette Shiner 
> and Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky.
> President Bush has stated: "Historians ... will point to the role of 
> technology in frustrating censorship and central control-and marvel at the 
> power of instant communications to spread the truth, the news, and courage 
> across borders." Nearly six decades ago, the Universal Declaration of 
> Human Rights recognized, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and 
> expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without 
> interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through 
> any media and regardless of frontiers." Governments reaffirmed these 
> rights in 2003 and 2005 at the UN's World Summit on the Information 
> Society.
> The task force will consider foreign policy aspects of Internet freedom, 
> including:
> * The use of technology to restrict access to political content and the 
> impact
>   of such censorship efforts on U.S. companies;
> * The use of technology to track and repress dissidents; and
> * Efforts to modify Internet governance structures in order to restrict 
> the free
>   flow of information.
> Consistent with existing interagency and advisory institutions and 
> processes, the task force will focus the State Department's coordination 
> with other agencies, U.S. Internet companies, non-governmental 
> organizations, academic researchers, and other stakeholders. The work of 
> the task force will support State's participation in existing interagency 
> processes run by the National Security Council and National Economic 
> Council. State Department offices participating in the task force include 
> the Bureaus of Economic and Business Affairs; Democracy, Human Rights and 
> Labor; International Organizations; International Information Programs; 
> relevant regional Bureaus; and the Secretary's Policy Planning Staff.
> http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/rm/2006/61182.htm
> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1927085,00.asp
> http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/61156.htm
> -- 
> ================================================================
> Mark Graham
> Senior Vice President of Technology, iVillage
> General Manager, Astrology.com
> http://www.ivillage.com
> Office: (415) 447-6193 Ext. 830 * Cell: (917) 697-0110
> ================================================================
> =======================================
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> share the APC vision - a world in which all people have easy, equal and 
> affordable access to the creative potential of information and 
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> democratic and egalitarian societies.
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