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The real challenge for Internet freedom? US hypocrisy. And there's no app for that.

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Bad news: What Clinton didn't say

The bad news is that Clinton's speech is as important for the subjects that it has avoided. It's these omissions that tell us far more about the progress (or lack thereof) in how the US government thinks about a complex subject like Internet freedom.

Unfortunately, there was barely any mention of the role that America's own companies play in suppressing Internet freedom. Presumably, it's quite embarrassing for Clinton that Narus – an American company now owned by Boeing – supplied Egypt with technology that allowed it to spy on Internet users. Or that just two months ago the State Department gave an innovation award to another American company – Cisco – even though the latter provided some of the key ingredients for China's draconian system of Web controls.

Then, there is the thorny issue of our growing dependance on companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google as the providers of digital infrastructure that makes cyber-activism possible. Clinton was right to acknowledge that the Internet is “the public space of the 21stcentury” – but today this space feels and looks more like a shopping mall than a community playground.

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