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Our Brand is Principles

The Washington Post is running an editorial about Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on internet freedom, which is seen as at risk of invention from authoritarian governments in China and Russia.  While everyone is focused on the Google position (or lack thereof) in China on human rights, we are pretty quick to forget that Russian hackers recently seized the world headlines by crashing Twitter in relation to an attack on the Georgian blogger CYXYMU.  From the WaPo editorial:

“Censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere,” Ms. Clinton said. “American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand.” This raises an immediate issue for Microsoft and Apple, two companies that continue to censor their Chinese content. The administration and Congress should explore what steps can be taken to ensure that these companies and others follow the no-censorship rule wherever they operate.

Ms. Clinton pledged that in addition to defending its own companies and cyberspace, the United States would take measures to help human rights advocates, political dissidents and civil society groups overcome their governments’ censorship. Until now, the State Department has been negligent in this area; it has misspent — or failed to spend at all — money appropriated by Congress for firewall-busting.