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US Secretary of State Backs Internet Freedom

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today a new U.S. policy that urges the protection of Internet freedom and privacy for the 21st century. "Those who use the internet to recruit terrorists or distribute stolen intellectual property cannot divorce their online actions from their real world identities. But these challenges must not become an excuse for governments to systematically violate the rights and privacy of those who use the internet for peaceful political purposes," she noted. The Secretary of State endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and stressed that the United States "does stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas." She also applauded efforts such as the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime that facilitates international cooperation in prosecuting such offenses. Privacy advocates around the world are rallying behind the Madrid Privacy Declaration (2009), which urges countries that have not ratified Council of Europe Convention 108, together with the Protocol of 2001 to do so as expeditiously as possible in order to complement the CoE Convention on Cybercrime. They are also calling for the establishment of a new international framework for privacy protection, with the full participation of civil society. Recently, the UN Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism released its Annual Report calling for a global declaration on data protection and data privacy

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