What Hillary Clinton, Google can do about censorship in China
Google announced last week that it is no longer willing to censor its Chinese searches... Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be rolling out a new policy initiative concerning internet freedom... But if the State Department and internet giants really want to promote free access to the Internet worldwide, the most effective thing they could do is to support the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIF).
GIF is a small outlet run by a group of Chinese-American computer scientists....
work day jobs and pay for their operations out of their own pockets. Yet in spite of their obvious limitation, they are responsible for approximately 90 percent of all anti-censorship internet traffic in China and Iran.
When protests erupted in Burma in 2007 ... it was GIF software that activists used to relay images, video and information to the rest of the world. ...
When riots erupted in Tibet in 2008, GIF's traffic from the region rose by 300 percent. ...
when Iranians ... demonstrate against suspected election fraud in 2009, over 1 million Iranians per day were using GIF software to communicate with the outside world.
... With a small amount of funding or with private donations of server bandwidth, GIF could increase its capacity to support 50 million users.
GIF hasn't received a penny of funding from either the U.S. government or private corporations. ... engineers behind GIF are adherents of Falun Gong, ...GIF engineers began their work largely so that their compatriots in China could access and share information about the persecuted spiritual practice... an unnamed U.S. official was quoted as saying that "the Chinese would go ballistic" if GIF received government funding.
... For a small fraction of that budget, America can provide free access to information to tens of millions of people.
Original report from
“What Hillary Clinton, Google can do about censorship in China”,The Washington Post , January 20, 2010, (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/20/AR201001...).
Inform, connect, and empower the people in closed societies with information on a free Internet.
The Great Firewall will be taken down as the Berlin Wall.
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There is no freedom without freedom of information. There is no freedom of information without Internet freedom.