Global Internet Freedom Task Force
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice established the Global Internet Freedom Task Force (GIFT) on February 14, 2006 as an internal State Department coordination group to address challenges around the globe to freedom of expression and the free flow of information on the Internet. DRL/ILCSR and the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs lead the efforts. The GIFT aims to:
- Maximize freedom of expression and the free flow of information and ideas;
- Minimize the success of repressive regimes in censoring and silencing legitimate debate and
- Promote access to information and ideas over the Internet.
We refer to such freedom of expression on the Internet as “Internet freedom.” Since its launch in February 2006, the GIFT has developed a robust global Internet strategy to monitor and respond to threats to Internet freedom and to advance the frontiers of Internet freedom by expanding access to the Internet. In executing this strategy, the State Department coordinates its efforts with other U.S. Government agencies, the National Security Council and National Economic Council, and the technology industry.
The Secretary’s Task Force works to raise awareness of the need to promote Internet freedom. Senior State Department officials urge governments and companies to adopt policies that will promote Internet freedom. Department officials press for these reforms in bi-lateral and multi-lateral fora.
Another result of the GIFT is that the Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices now reports more fully on the status of Internet freedom. This has also raised awareness of the need to address restrictions on Internet freedom.
Additionally, Internet-service companies have used the Task Force as a resource in analyzing human rights risks in the companies’ current and future markets.
Read the strategy of the Global Internet Freedom Task Force (GIFT).