Online Activism On Russia Election Underscores Need To Protect Internet Freedom

On March 4, Russia held a Presidential election in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was returned to the Presidency for a third non-consecutive term.  However, the opposition and protestors allege widespread vote fraud, and thousands rallied in Moscow the day after the election.  These mass demonstrations, and those in December around Russia’s parliamentary elections, were…

Internet Freedom and Jackson-Vanik

One of the most prominent trade issues in 2012 centers on Congressional approval of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia.  While extending PNTR to Russia would provide some economic benefits to both countries following Russia’s WTO entry, we believe that there is another aspect to this issue to be considered: that of Internet Freedom.…

Twitter’s Difficult Choice: The Unenviable Position of U.S. Internet Companies

Yesterday, Twitter announced that it had created a targeted solution to removing locally “illegal” material on a country-by-country basis.  Perhaps understandably, the company has been accused of abetting censorship, particularly because Twitter is one of the online platforms that has played such an important role in empowering traditionally silenced minority groups, democracy activists and protestors around the world. However,…

House, Senate Delay Action On PIPA/SOPA

The House and Senate have both announced plans today to put off consideration of the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The announcement follows record numbers of phone calls to Capitol Hill and millions of signatures on online petitions by Internet users after more than 7,000 websites went dark for…