US launches Internet freedom task force
The US Govt has set up a special operation to monitor the restriction of Internet freedom by repressive regimes around the globe.india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 08:49 IST
The US government has set up a special operation to monitor the restriction of Internet freedom by repressive regimes around the globe, with a particular focus on China.
The Global Internet Freedom Task Force will focus on the "foreign policy aspects of Internet freedom," the State Department said on Tuesday.
The force will study the technology used to restrict access to political content and to "track and repress dissidents", and the imposition of laws "to restrict the free flow of information," the department said.
The task force will be run by Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs Josette Shiner, and Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky.
The government move comes as Internet giants Google and Yahoo face mounting criticism for complying with China's censorship demands in return for being allowed to enter the giant China market.
"I will say that we have very serious concerns about the protection of privacy and data throughout the Internet globally and, in particular, some of the recent cases raised in China," Shiner said.
She said Washington would "continue to press our concerns with the government of China" but also work with US Internet companies that are in the China market to take "steps that would help ensure privacy of data and protection of data on the internet.