On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State stepped into the Internet censorship debate, saying it has assembled a task force to assist technology companies in protecting freedom of speech in countries that censor online content, Reuters reports.
State Department officials also said they’d work to convince other foreign countries to allow for greater online freedom of expression, as well as assist when a company is called on by a foreign government to censor content, Reuters reports.
“Many technology companies…want to work to help those who lack the freedom that we often take for granted,” Paula Dobriansky, Undersecretary of State and a task force member, told Reuters. “If we band together, we can make significant progress on this issue.”
The announcement comes a day before Yahoo and three other technology firms are to appear before a House human rights subcommittee, to discuss their business in China.
For more, read Yahoo Will Address Internet Rights, U.S. Lawmaker Battles Chinese Internet Censorship and Firms Ask Gov’t to Stand Against Censorship.
For CIO’s most recent coverage, read Chinese Official Defends Internet Censorship.
And for background on the issue, check out Microsoft Shuts Down Chinese Blogger and Google Will Censor Chinese Web Searches.
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