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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > April
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 5, 2006


Global Internet Task Force Meeting Focuses on Advancing Freedom on Web

The second meeting of the Global Internet Freedom Task Force (GIFT) "discussed practical and constructive strategies to advance Internet freedom," said Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Josette Sheeran Shiner, who chaired the April 3 meeting.

"The Internet, a powerful force for advancing knowledge and spreading information, is increasingly a target for censors," Shiner said.

The multidisciplinary U.S. State Department group reviewed issues, including increased monitoring of Internet censorship, discussions with U.S. businesses, NGOs and academics on the challenges overseas and technologies that help break down barriers to Internet access. "In particular, we focused on challenges to Internet freedom in Iran, Cuba and China," Shiner added.

"This is an issue that resonates all over the globe from individuals who depend on information from the Internet to connect them to what is happening in the rest of the world to businesses that contribute to the world economy through e-enterprise. Ive been very impressed with the ideas emerging from the private sector and the nongovernmental community as they think through these issues. This thinking will help us as we develop the best strategy to maximize access to information over the Internet and minimize the success of repressive regimes in using the Internet to censor debate and silence dissidents."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice established the Global Internet Freedom Task Force (GIFT) on February 14, 2006. It is chaired by Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Josette Sheeran Shiner and Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky.

For more information on the GIFT, please go to www.state.gov/e.

2006/344

Released on April 5, 2006

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