They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows. The same should be said for lovers of freedom – any kind of freedom. The word from PCMagazine is that several Senators have banded together to promote internet freedom in those areas where there is little freedom now…such as Iran and China.
Ted Kaufman, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sam Brownback, a Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, will co-chair the Senate Global Internet Freedom Caucus, a Kaufman aide said on Monday.
The caucus, which also will include Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, and Democrats Dick Durbin and Bob Casey, plans to discuss its mission at a briefing on Wednesday.
Republicans John McCain and Mike Johanns have also joined the group.
The action from the Senate is right in line with the possible removal of Google from China over the question of censorship. It is not yet clear if Google will pull out completely, but it is important to see that Google has a collective conscience, and is not idly sitting by as China removes information it deems inconsistent with its greater message.
Last year Kaufman, Brownback and two others wrote legislation aimed at authorizing funds for the development of technologies to help people in Iran to circumvent Internet restrictions.
The move also comes two weeks after the Treasury Department said it will allow U.S. technology companies to export chat and social media software to Iran and other countries with the hope it will help their citizens communicate with the outside world.
The use of Twitter, as everyone knows, is what kept the flow of information going in a time of unrest and lockdown for the people of Iran. If not for the availability of this venue for communication, history may have been written in a completely different manner.
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