The Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates the long overdue attention the administration is bringing to the multifaceted human rights issue of Internet freedom.

CCIA is releasing a white paper on Friday, “Internet Freedom: How National Policies Have Failed To Protect It And What Can Be Done Now To Build It.”

The paper explains why censorship is a trade issue. It also looks at some of the national and international policy breakdowns over the past decade in which the United States missed opportunities to oppose censorship, spying and other more outwardly benign policies that can erode freedom and openness on the Internet.

The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The failure over the past decade to use existing laws to curb Internet censorship and to rally around a common ethic promoting openness and freedom is among our biggest policy failures. It is easy to point fingers at China for its spying on citizens and filtering content. But Internet freedom can and should begin at home.

“It will be an ongoing but critical challenge for consumers, Internet-dependent businesses, citizens and our government to put overall Internet freedom ahead of various parochial interests in whatever policy debate of the day it manifests – net neutrality, intellectual property protection, Internet surveillance or censorship. While these issues in Washington are often debated separately, they are all tied to a common ethic of Internet freedom. We must support measures that promote this common ethic.

“We don’t want the government to write the rules of Internet freedom, but instead to lay the groundwork for respecting openness and freedom as a value and help spread that value around the world. To do so, our laws and policies must show leadership by example.”

 

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