Internet Freedoms and Internet Radicals

Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a commendable speechabout Internet freedom at the Newseum journalism museum in Washington, shifting the focus of American foreign policy from the analog certainties of the 20th century to the digital confusion of the 21st century. Clinton laid out a new focus of American foreign policy, prioritizing the open digital network, what she called “the freedom to connect,” as a central value in determining the credibility of overseas regimes.

While Clinton spoke optimistically about the power of the Internet to create an open society, she also recognized the profound economic and political problems created by the digital revolution, acknowledging that “those who use the Internet to recruit terrorists or distribute stolen intellectual property cannot divorce their online actions from their real world identities” and that “governments and citizens must have confidence that the networks at the core of their national security and economic prosperity are safe and resilient. … Our ability to bank online, use electronic commerce, and safeguard billions of dollars in intellectual property are all at stake if we cannot rely on the security of our information networks.”.....