Commerce secretary: Threats to Internet freedom increasing, can hamper growth

Gautham Nagesh
The Hill

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke warned the increasing number of foreign government policies aimed at restricting the flow of information on the Internet could serve as an informal trade barrier and hamper economic growth during remarks at Georgetown University on Thursday.

Locke said a growing number of countries are passing laws that censor content or hamper the flow of commerce online, often in order to benefit specific market interests. He said such policies jeopardize the prosperity that many countries have enjoyed from the Web to date.

“While we work to ensure that the Internet remains an open marketplace for ideas and beliefs, it must also remain an open marketplace for business. In recent years, however, we have seen a significant up-tick in threats to the free flow of information on the Internet,” Locke said.

“At the Commerce Department, we feel strongly that the Internet must remain, as much as possible, a worldwide open market, one where vigorous competition is allowed to thrive and where trade barriers are negligible.”

The article continues at The Hill.

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