Hillary Clinton: Then And Now On Internet Freedoms And Censorship
from the not-how-it's-done dept
For companies, this issue is about more than claiming the moral high ground. It really comes down to the trust between firms and their customers. Consumers everywhere want to have confidence that the internet companies they rely on will provide comprehensive search results and act as responsible stewards of their own personal information. Firms that earn that confidence of those countries and basically provide that kind of service will prosper in the global marketplace. I really believe that those who lose that confidence of their customers will eventually lose customers. No matter where you live, people want to believe that what they put into the internet is not going to be used against them.Others in the administration have been saying similar things. Just this week, the US has been putting pressure on Kuwait for jailing a writer for criticizing the government there.
And censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere. And in America, American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand. I’m confident that consumers worldwide will reward companies that follow those principles.
And yet when it comes to Wikileaks, suddenly, the federal government doesn't seem so interested in supporting such things any more? Hillary Clinton says that companies should stand up for their principles or lose customers... and yet we've seen Amazon, Paypal, Visa and MasterCard do the exact opposite -- with clear pressure from government officials in doing so. Clinton herself claimed that Wikileaks' release "was an attack on the international community." Apparently she doesn't believe in internet freedoms when it exposes questionable activity on her part. Less than a year ago, she was telling private companies to have a backbone and stand up for internet freedoms on the basis of principle... and today she's a part of the federal government's pressure campaign to get them to shut down Wikileaks.
Does anyone in the federal government realize how they've just lost any leverage at all in pushing other countries to avoid internet censorship?
So far, the only national politicians I've seen who have stood up for Wikileaks are Ron Paul and Connie Mack, who pointed out that the response to Wikileaks has been much more damaging than anything in the documents themselves:
"The people are not really understanding what's happening here. The fear should be: What will our federal government do to try to punish American citizens and corporations if those citizens or corporations do something that the government doesn't like? It doesn't make sense,"It's a really sad statement that there are so few politicians actually willing to stand up for a free internet and a free press in the wake of this story.