Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Global Network Initiative will set standards for dealing with countries that suppress Internet freedom

Several Internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google, will be spearheading an effort to draw up common principles in dealing with countries like China that restrict free speech and expression (especially about politics or religion) on the Internet. The “China Journal” in the Wall Street Journal online today (Oct. 28) is reporting the story here.

The companies will compose the Global Network Initiative, which has yet to set up its web site. But the initiative will include other interests, like Human Rights in China.

The 110th Congress has a bill, HR 275, “The Global Online Freedom Act of 2007” (link here, or here on govtrack ) (introduced by Christopher Smith, R-NJ) which would make it a crime to turn over personal data to countries with censorship or privacy violations (hard to enforce when we have our own Patriot Act and various wiretapping controversies). But the Global Network Initiative would depend on voluntary measures.

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