President Obama Gives Nod to Power of Internet in U.N. Speech

Broadband Updates, Broadband's Impact, International September 24th, 2010


WASHINGTON, September 24, 2010 – President Obama gave a tip of the hat to the internet in a lengthy speech before the United Nations on Thursday that addressed a wide variety of global topics.

He said it’s important to “call out those who suppress ideas and serve as a voice for those who are voiceless,” adding that the United States will promote new tools of communication so that “people are empowered to connect with one another and, in repressive societies, to do so with security.”

Obama added that the United States will support a ” free and open Internet, so individuals have the information to make up their own minds. And it is time to embrace and effectively monitor norms that advance the rights of civil society and guarantee its expansion within and across borders.”

He praised technology and its ability to empower: “In all parts of the world, we see the promise of innovation to make government more open and accountable. And now, we must build on that progress. And when we gather back here next year, we should bring specific commitments to promote transparency; to fight corruption; to energize civic engagement; to leverage new technologies so that we strengthen the foundations of freedom in our own countries, while living up to the ideals that can light the world.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski commended the president for his statement, adding that “communications networks can and must play a vital role in advancing economic development, freedom, and human dignity around the globe. It is essential that we preserve the open Internet and stand firmly behind the right of all people to connect with one another and to exchange ideas freely and without fear.”

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