U.S. State Department's Internet Policy to Boost Users' Autonomy
The U.S. State Department will announce a new twofold policy on Internet freedom today (Feb. 15) that is designed to expand users' Web autonomy while limiting the power of autocratic governments to take it away.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will detail the policy, which will enable users to circumvent cyberspace barriers such as Internet firewalls while making it more difficult for oppressive governments to use the same technologies to root out and crush dissent, the New York Times reported. The new policy will also help fund international Internet freedom initiatives, the Times reported.
The policy has been in the works for a year, but is especially urgent as the international spotlight still shines on issues of Internet freedom and government oppression in the wake of last week's Egyptian revolt . Former President Hosni Mubarak's government shut down the Internet for five days in an attempt to squash protests and keep dissenters from finding a voice and audience online.
Part of the policy will focus on training human rights workers on how to keep their e-mails and other sensitive online data secure, and how to erase information from mobile devices if they are seized by police, the Times said.