US Promotes Open and Secure Internet Globally

US Advocates For Internet Freedom

Saying that internet today is part of almost everything that we do, the United States of America today reiterated that internet should be open and accessible to everyone as well.

In his remarks while on a visit in Seoul, South Korea, US Secretary of State said the United States considers the promotion of an open and secure internet to be a key component of its foreign policy.

“It’s why we want to work with with international partners everywhere in order to better understand the choices that we face in managing this extraordinary resource – a resource which does present us with certain challenges even as it presents us with unprecedented opportunities.” – Secretary Kerry

U.S. Army soldiers surfing the Internet at Forward Operating Base Yusifiyah, Iraq.

Free Expression Online and Offline

According to Secretary Kerry, the internet should be open and accessible to everyone which should be interoperable, so it can connect seamlessly across international borders.

The US also believes countries should work together to deter and respond effectively to online threats.

“And we believe digital policy should seek to fulfill the technology’s potential as a vehicle for global stability and sustained economic development.” – Secretary Kerry

Internet as Venue For Freedom of Expression

According to Secretary Kerry, internet is an equal-opportunity platform from which the voice of a student can have as much reach as that of a billionaire; a chief executive may be able to be out-debated by an entry-level employee – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

In addition, most users of the internet agree, on the internet as in any other venue, the human rights of every person – including freedom of expression – should be protected and respected.

In fact, the United Nations has repeatedly affirmed this view, but as we know, it is still not universally held. And the US believes the internet hinges to a great extent on how we feel, each and every one of us, about freedom.

The United States believes strongly in freedom – in freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of choice. The internet could be a great medium for this freedom of expression.

US Advocates For Openness

As an advocate for internet freedom, the United States is taking part of the Freedom Online Coalition, a 26-country group that we are actively seeking to expand.

The coalition argues that narrow and distorted visions of the internet cannot be allowed to prevail.

“Freedom must win out over censorship.” – Secretary Kerry

Secretary Kerry pointed out that freedom is how jobs are created, diseases are cured, alternative energy is harnessed, and new ways are found to feed a global population that has quadrupled in the past century and that will rise to some 9 billion people in the next 40 to 50 years.

“Without freedom, civilization can’t advance; it’s like a bicycle without pedals.” – Secretary Kerry

US Helped Create The Alliance For Affordable Internet

This broad coalition draws on expertise from governments, the private sector, and civil society to assist policy makers in expanding access while keeping prices low.

With the willingness to help achieve the universal desire – for jobs, for opportunity, for education, for a future, the United States State Department will soon launch a new diplomatic initiative – in combination with partner countries, development banks, engineers, and industry leaders to make internet as widespread as electricity or cellphone coverage itself.

The US asserts that internet freedom must fully integrated into everyday life in every corner of the globe. And most importantly, it will literally define the kinds of opportunities that young people all over the world are hoping for today – help strengthen governments; provide opportunity; make us safer; bring us together; and in effect, define the future of this century.

internet Freedom Under Threat

US says internet freedom is increasingly under threat.

Repressive regimes understand the power of this technology, and they are redoubling their attempts to control it.

Internet freedom derives from universal and cherished rights, the freedoms of speech, assembly, and association and is based on the concept that the same rights that apply offline apply in new online environments.

US notes that an open and accessible Internet gives people a platform from which to express their aspirations and shape their own destiny.

US believes people in every country deserve to be able to take part in building a more peaceful, prosperous, and democratic society.

In the 21st century, technology is a powerful tool with which to exercise human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Internet, mobile phone networks, and other new technologies have a profound effect on the ability of citizen movements around the world to organize themselves in this era.

Repressive governments used to set up simple firewalls at Internet Exchange Points to block external content from outside their borders.

In addition, some stated are using sophisticated software to monitor all digital activity within their countries, and to delete posts and block emails in something approaching real time.

Some countries are using tracking what their citizens do on their phones and computers and exerting state control over content, over users, over companies, and over the infrastructure of the Internet.

Earlier in 2012, the U.S. said it was committed to advance internet freedom, and in late October, made internet freedom a foreign policy priority. At that time, in a presentation at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership, Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner said the U.S. Congress had allocated $70 million to the U.S. State Department, to fund technology, training and policy advocacy for Internet freedom around the world.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.