In many respects, information has never been so free… Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.

During his visit to China in November, President Obama held a town hall meeting with an online component to highlight the importance of the internet. In response to a question that was sent in over the internet, he defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity. The United States’ belief in that truth is what brings me here today.

Blogs, email, social networks, and text messages have opened up new forums for exchanging ideas – and created new targets for censorship…

Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society, or any other, pose a threat to our economy, our government and our civil society. Countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation.

Hillary Clinton, January 2010

The internet is brilliant, isn’t it.

Until the power it has unleashed asks questions of your own conventions, just as it has of those you berate for not being as progressive and sophisticated as you.