Internet Freedom in the Age of Dictators and Terrorists, Briefing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, March 3, 2016   [open pdf - 708KB]

This is the March 3, 2016 briefing "Internet Freedom in the Age of Dictators and Terrorists" of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. From the opening statement of Shelly Heald Han: "About a decade ago, when the Internet was spreading like wildfire around the world, and Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter were taking off, I and a lot of other people jumped on the Internet freedom bandwagon, and hailed the Internet as a game changer for spreading democratic ideals to places that were closed off to traditional media and information. It was precisely because it was so powerful that the Internet moved into the crosshairs of governments because, to put it in simplistic terms, the autocrats fear that it can be used to usurp their power, and the democracies fear it because it might be used by criminals and terrorists. Congressman Chris Smith, who's the chairman of our Commission in this Congress, first introduced the Global Online Freedom Act in 2007, in recognition of this threat to online users, particularly in closed societies, like China. And since 2007, we've seen the China model of Internet control spread throughout the world. And while several years ago, most of our fears about Internet freedom centered on foreign governments, in the post-Snowden world the debate has also shifted to what the U.S. Government is doing with our online information, the Apple versus FBI case being the most recent example. Although it is often phrased as a privacy versus security issue, I think it is really a security versus security issue, particularly in the Apple case; the security of our online user information and the Internet infrastructure versus the overall security environment against terrorist threats. So the question becomes, again, a question that we've been asking a lot over the years, particularly since 9/11, is where do we draw the line? Should we strive to know every bit of communication that passes between potential terrorists? And if so, at what cost?" Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Rebecca MacKinnon, Lisl Brunner, and Tim Maurer.

Publisher:United States. Government Publishing Office
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Government Printing Office: https://www.gpo.gov/
Media Type:application/pdf
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