19 October 2010


There was a good discussion at VOA last week on online freedom and national security. Much of the back-and-forth among the panelists dealt with such threats as cyber-crime, terrorist use of the Internet, surveillance needs, outdated laws and so forth.

But responding to an emailed question posed by “a guy from China”, Ambassador Philip Verveer, the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the Department of State, voiced this opinion about the greatest threat to Internet freedom:

“There are a whole range of threats. The greatest threat, I think, to online freedom turns out to be administrations that attempt to use censorship and other means of repression to prevent the free flow of information, to prevent this quite remarkable institution from being able to function fully and freely.”

Aside from Ambassador Verveer, the other panelists were Richard McNally, an FBI counter-terrorism official; Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology; Martin Libicki, Senior Management Scientist at RAND; and Nancy Scola, Associate Editor, techPresident.com.

You can still watch the entire panel discussion here.

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