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Hillary Clinton's speech: Shades of hypocrisy on internet freedom

Feb 17, 2011, 04:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dan Sabbagh)

"Hillary Clinton is back, lecturing the world on internet freedom, but thirteen months after her original speech on the topic, the dimension of the debate has changed. Back then she targeted the Chinese, whom she could confidently and credibly criticise in the wake of attacks on Google.

"Last year, the secretary of state made her position clear, warning that "countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century" – a pointed criticism of China's 'great firewall' approach to a technology that many previously thought inherently democratising.

"Yet after the WikiLeaks affair it is harder for the United States to so readily moralise. It is only two months ago that WikiLeaks saw its US domain name briefly taken away. Julian Assange's site was also stripped of its ability to raise money via PayPal, MasterCard and Visa."

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