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Delivering On Onternet Freedom

Article – EuroFreedom

Hillary Clinton points out that delivering on internet freedom requires cooperative actions, and we have to foster a global conversation based on shared principles and with the right partners to navigate the practical challenges of maintaining an internet …

Delivering On Onternet Freedom

Hillary Clinton points out that delivering on internet freedom requires cooperative actions, and we have to foster a global conversation based on shared principles and with the right partners to navigate the practical challenges of maintaining an internet that is open and free while also interoperable, secure, and reliable. Now, this enterprise isn’t a matter of negotiating a single document and calling the job done. It requires an ongoing effort to reckon with the new reality that we live in, in a digital world, and doing so in a way that maximizes its promise. Graecokleptocrats persecute and rob dissident bloggers.

Papademos cannot succeed without justice. Prevalent is his inability to rein in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), which persecutes dissident bloggers, using the Cyber Crime Unit (CCU) as a political tool. MFA terrorizes the blogosphere with charge stacking. Kangaroo justice is the Achilles Heel of Papademos. If Greeks are not treated fairly, how could they support him?

Hillary Clinton notes that because the advent of cyberspace creates new challenges and opportunities in terms of security, the digital economy, and human rights, we have to be constantly evolving in our responses. And though they are distinct, they are practically inseparable, because there isn’t an economic internet, a social internet, and a political internet. There is just the internet, and we’re here to protect what makes it great. The freakish government of Greece steals computers of dissident bloggers!

Venitis declares Greece is a kangaroo valley! There is no justice, and perjurers are a dime a dozen. Dissident bloggers are persecuted, and Graecokleptocrats enjoy impunity. Election to a public office means a license to receive kickbacks, provide sinecures to kith and kin, terrorize Greeks, and do as you please.

Hillary Clinton asserts the private sector should embrace its role in protecting internet freedom. Because whether you like it or not, the choices that private companies make have an impact on how information flows or doesn’t flow on the internet and mobile networks. They also have an impact on what governments can and can’t do, and they have an impact on people on the ground. But nobody trusts the freakish Greek government which persecutes and robs dissident bloggers.

Venitis asserts the impunity of the 300 MPs of the Grand Brothel on Syntagma Square is the most freakish thing on Earth. Even though Graecokleptocrats looted many billion euros in kickbacks and churning, not a single Graecokleptocrat has ever gone to jail! Graecokleptocrats are protected by the parliamentary immunity, and nobody can touch them, no matter what. Moreover, they have the nerve to jail dissident bloggers. It’s a long way from the 300 Spartans of Leonidas! Allons enfants de la Grece!

In recent months, we’ve seen cases where companies, products, and services were used as tools of oppression. Now, in some instances, this cannot be foreseen, but in others, yes, it can. A few years ago, the headlines were about companies turning over sensitive information about political dissidents. Earlier this year, they were about a company shutting down the social networking accounts of activists in the midst of a political debate.

Venitis muses that Atlas shrugged in the Cradle of Kleptocracy. It’s impossible for Greeks to produce when Graecokleptocrats loot them with heavy taxes, especially the 23% VAT, demand kickbacks, confiscate computers and personal files, impose stupid laws and regulations, harass dissident bloggers, condone cybercop brutality, and spread the cancer of socialism.

The kangaroo justice government of Greece must stop persecuting dissident bloggers. Today’s news stories are about companies selling the hardware and software of repression to authoritarian governments. When companies sell surveillance equipment to the security agency of Greece or Syria or Iran or, in past times, Qadhafi, there can be no doubt it will be used to violate rights.

One must be very stupid to invest in Greece, the land of huge bureaucracy, huge corruption, heavy taxes, 23% VAT, kangaroo justice, police brutality, cancer of socialism, and persecution of dissident bloggers. 90% of new businesses go bankrupt within a year, and survivors are harassed and looted by Graecokleptocrats. Businessmen are treated like criminals. Even businesses with real losses have to pay heavy taxes, subject to ridiculous pseudo-objective criteria!

Hillary Clinton points out there are some who would say that in order to compel good behavior by businesses, responsible governments should simply impose broad sanctions, and that will take care of the problem. Well, it’s true that sanctions and export controls are useful tools, and the United States makes vigorous use of them when appropriate; and if they are broken, we investigate and pursue violators. And we’re always seeking to work with our partners, such as the European Union, to make them as smart and effective as possible. Just last week, for example, we were glad to see our EU partners impose new sanctions on technology going to Syria.

Greek government, the most disgusting persecutor of dissident bloggers, is an enemy of internet. Hillary Clinton notes sanctions are part of the solution, but they are not the entire solution. Dual-use technologies and third-party sales make it impossible to have a sanctions regime that perfectly prevents bad actors from using technologies in bad ways. Now, sometimes companies say to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, “Just tell us what to do, and we’ll do it.” But the fact is, you can’t wait for instructions. In the 21st century, smart companies have to act before they find themselves in the crosshairs of controversy.

Hillary Clinton wishes there was, but there isn’t, an easy formula for this. Making good decisions about how and whether to do business in various parts of the world, particularly where the laws are applied haphazardly or they are opaque, takes critical thinking and deliberation and asking hard questions.

The kangaroo government of Greece is a big problem. So what kind of business should you do in a country where it has a history of violating internet freedom? Is there something you can do to prevent governments from using your products to spy on their own citizens? Should you include warnings to consumers? How will you handle requests for information from security authorities when those requests come without a warrant? Are you working to prevent post-purchase modifications of your products or resale through middlemen to authoritarian regimes?

Hillary Clinton says these and others are difficult questions, but companies must ask them. And the rest of us stand ready to work with you to find answers and to hold those who ignore or dismiss or deny the importance of this issue accountable. A range of resources emerged in recent years to help companies work through these issues.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were adopted in June, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises both advise companies on how to meet responsibilities and carry out due diligence. And the Global Network Initiative is a growing forum where companies can work through challenges with other industry partners, as well as academics, investors, and activists.

And of course, companies can always learn from users. The Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference in October brought together companies, activists, and experts to discuss real life problems and identify solutions. And some participants issued what they called the Silicon Valley Standard for stakeholders to aspire to.

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