In January last year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a landmark speech entitled “Remarks on Internet Freedom“. The speech was noteworthy for its clear and unambiguous rejection of all forms of censorship and network control. Coming on the heels of Iran’s presidential elections and Chinese cyber-attacks, it seemed the U.S. was drawing a principled line in the sand. They put their money where there mouths were, allocating millions in funding for projects to help the citizens of the world to circumvent government controls on freedom of speech.
(Me on News 24 discussing the speech and the revolutions in the Middle East)
Yesterday Secretary Clinton revisited that theme, announcing the creation of an Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues and pledging a further $25 million for tools to combat censorship. However, while we heard another eloquent defence of the principle of freedom of speech in the online world, this foray is receiving a markedly cooler reception.