US Congress considering "Internet freedom" legislation to keep US companies from selling technology to repressive govts.

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Article
9 September 2012

Internet freedom legislation still being considered by [US] Congress

Author: Greg Slabodkin, FierceGovernmentIT [USA]

Legislation currently under consideration by Congress would make it policy to deter American companies from selling Internet technologies and services to repressive regimes in order to combat their online censorship, notes an Aug. 30 Congressional Research Service report...According to the CRS report, posted online by Secrecy News, repressive governments feel they need access to the Internet to participate in commerce in the global market and for economic growth and technological development, "but fear that allowing open access to the Internet potentially weakens their control over their citizens."

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Article
1 September 2012

Urge [US] Congress to Pass the Global Online Freedom Act

Author: Amnesty Intl. USA

When you log onto Facebook or check your email, you probably don't think twice about sharing your life's latest updates...Others aren't so lucky. By simply posting a status update in some countries, you could wind up facing government surveillance, harassment, detention -- or worse. From the "Great Firewall" of China to efforts to control popular uprisings in the Middle East, repressive governments are trying to make Internet and technology companies allies in their efforts to censor. We need strong regulation to prevent U.S. companies from cooperating with repressive governments...Freedom of expression is a human right. Urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Global Online Freedom Act today.

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Article
18 April 2012

Global Online Freedom Act 2012 Is An Important Step Forward

Author: Cindy Cohn & Jillian York, Electronic Frontier Foundation

...[The] newly-amended Global Online Freedom Act (GOFA),...while far from perfect, is an important step toward protecting human rights and free expression online...[Let's] take a deeper look…The bill contains a number of excellent measures that would ultimately encourage more transparency amongst software and hardware companies, as well as online service providers...We also commend...[the bill's] good framework for human rights due diligence procedures for companies operating “in any Internet-restricting country”...we still have extreme reservations about giving the Secretary of State sole authority to determine that a country is an "internet-restricting country."...We’re also concerned about the broad waiver provision...[which] allows the President...[to] issue...exemption[s].... [refers to Narus (part of Boeing)]

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