Just As US Gov't Was Giving Back The Blog It Illegally Censored For Over A Year, Hillary Clinton Speaks Out Against Internet Censorship

from the left-hand,-right-hand? dept

At nearly the exact time that Dajaz1 was getting its domain back, after the US government wrongly censored its domain for over a year with absolutely nothing resembling due process (and actively stifling attempts by the site to get its day in court and get its domain back), US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was giving a speech in Europe about the evils of internet censorship.

Let’s take a look at some of the quotes, and remember that she’s saying this just as Dajaz1 was coming back online after a year.

This is an urgent task. It is most urgent, of course, for those around the world whose words are now censored, who are imprisoned because of what they or others have written online, who are blocked from accessing entire categories of internet content, or who are being tracked by governments seeking to keep them from connecting with one another.

Of course, we don’t even have to look “around the world.” We can just look right here at home in the US, where ICE and the Justice Department seem to have no problem doing the same thing. Or we can look to SOPA and PIPA and their plan to expand the ability to censor the web in the US.

In Syria, a blogger named Anas Maarawi was arrested on July 1st after demanding that President Asad leave. He?s not been charged with anything, but he remains in detention. In both Syria and Iran, many other online activists ? actually too many to name ? have been detained, imprisoned, beaten, and even killed for expressing their views and organizing their fellow citizens. And perhaps the most well known blogger in Russia, Alexei Navalny, was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 days in jail after he took part in protests over the Russian elections.

In America, a blog named Dajaz1, was seized last November after posting music sent to it by various copyright holders for the purpose of promotion. It was never brought up under forfeiture rules, but the domain remained in detention… Now, clearly, having a site seized is not in the same category as being “detained, imprisoned, beaten or even killed” but if we’re against censorship abroad, it seems pretty crazy to be ignoring it when it happens at home.

It seems like the State Department should issue a message calling out ICE and DOJ for doing the exact same thing Clinton is complaining about in other countries.

But when ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled, and people constrained in their choices, the internet is diminished for all of us. What we do today to preserve fundamental freedoms online will have a profound effect on the next generation of users. More than two billion people are now connected to the internet, but in the next 20 years, that number will more than double. And we are quickly approaching the day when more than a billion people are using the internet in repressive countries. The pledges we make and the actions we take today can help us determine whether that number grows or shrinks, or whether the meaning of being on the internet is totally distorted.

Well, given the blatant wrongful censorship of Dajaz1, do we include the 245 million or so online Americans in the count of the number of people using the internet in repressive countries? I certainly want to believe that we’re not a repressive country, but with a story that horrifying…

So right now, in various international forums, some countries are working to change how the internet is governed. They want to replace the current multi-stakeholder approach, which includes governments, the private sector, and citizens, and supports the free flow of information, in a single global network.

Not just in international forums….

The United States wants the internet to remain a space where economic, political, and social exchanges flourish. To do that, we need to protect people who exercise their rights online…

Unless you promote hip hop music. Then, too bad.

… and we also need to protect the internet itself from plans that would undermine its fundamental characteristics.

Unless it means protecting campaign donations from Hollywood. Then we can change the fundamental characteristics of the internet with a snap.

Our government (inaudible) will continue to work very hard to get around every barrier that repressive governments put up.

But will it still censor at will at home?

Honestly, it’s tough to see how Hillary and the State Department can legitimately support SOPA and PIPA after that speech and the evidence of direct US censorship.

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Comments on “Just As US Gov't Was Giving Back The Blog It Illegally Censored For Over A Year, Hillary Clinton Speaks Out Against Internet Censorship”

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anonymous says:

like so many things, it is very easy to tell others what is wrong, what should/shouldn’t be done, but ignore those very things in your own country. if she truly believed what she was saying/promoting, she should get her arse into gear, get back to the US and tell the thick fuckers there to back off! the quote used ‘if it aint broke, dont fix it’ is very apt, but meaningless when the course of action being taken is ‘it aint broke, so let’s screw it up as much and as quick as possible, so it only suits our (the entertainment industries) purposes!

Anonymous Coward says:

This is one of the prime reasons why diplomatic efforts by the US are treated as a joke by other countries.

Hillary has more than once been caught in this hypocrisy done while she is spouting off about what should be done for free peoples of the world.

Imprison people with out trial? You know the US doesn’t do that…can you say GITMO?

Censor the internet? Nope the US doesn’t do that. Can you say SOPA or Protect IP?

Monitor the internet for dissent? Nope the US doesn’t do that, except for the well known case of the branch feed mirrored off AT&T.

Imprison without trial? Nope the US doesn’t do that. Bradley Manning anyone?

Beat protesters against government actions? Nope the US doesn’t do that. Except for Occupy Wall Street protests.

Where was Obama in wanting UN protections for the protesters in his own home domain? The UN has sent a letter of concern over the treatment the breakups have caused the protesters to the US government.

The double standards that the US puts out against what it does on it’s own home turf are amazing. We’re setting examples such as Egypt’s Secret Police calling themselves…Homeland Security.

Baked Potato (profile) says:

Add another tally mark for Clinton

From http://iran.usembassy.gov/

“In democracies, respecting rights isn’t a choice leaders make day-by-day, it is the reason they govern.”

“When a government hides its work from public view, hands out jobs and money to political cronies, administers unequal justice, looks away as corrupt bureaucrats and businessmen enrich themselves at the people’s expense, that government is failing its citizens,” stated U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the opening of the multi-country Open Government Partnership (OGP) Forum last week.

— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Do you think she was able to say this with a straight face?

Ted says:

America the home of the free?

Paul you hit the nail on the head on this one. On one hand we will start small wars with countries that try to stop protests in their streets, on the other we will arrest peaceful protesters… RIGHT HERE IN THE USA.. because they are speaking out against the rich and powerful.

What the *$%#! kinda world do we live in? I thought this was the land of the free?

FM Hilton (profile) says:

Did you get that email?

“What the *$%#! kinda world do we live in? I thought this was the land of the free?”

Uh, no. Contrary to popular opinion.

Ask any corporation, Congressperson or government employee.
Your right to freedom is dependent on their good mood at the time.

Hell, just ask any incarcerated person in this country, which is one of the leading countries for number of people in prison.

Loki says:

Now, clearly, having a site seized is not in the same category as being “detained, imprisoned, beaten or even killed”

Well, if making an exact digital copy of a movie or a song is absolutely the same as stealing someone’s car, why is seizing someone’s website any different than cutting out their tongue and locking them in a box? The two arguments seem to be relatively consistent, even if they don’t seem to be the least bit rational.

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