House bill targets Internet censorship

Lawmakers seek global Internet freedom

The National Science Foundation would have to set up a foundation to award prizes and grants for programs to defeat Internet censorship worldwide under a bill in the House.

That organization, the Internet Freedom Foundation, would award grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to industry, universities and other organizations to “defeat Internet suppression and censorship,” according to the bill titled The Internet Freedom Act. The foundation would also award incentive prizes to organizations that “successfully develop deployable technologies to defeat Internet suppression and censorship,” the legislation said.


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The bill comes as lawmakers and the Obama administration have become increasingly focused on Internet freedom as a part of foreign policy.

Since Google said in January that it was no longer willing to continue to go along with the Chinese government's censorship of Google.cn, a version of Google for China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given a speech in support of Internet freedom. In addition, the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution Feb. 2 supporting Clinton.

Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) introduced the bill March 9. 

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Fri, Apr 9, 2010

It is exactly as you guessed. Another Obama power grab.

Fri, Mar 12, 2010

Is this a bill that outlaws censorship or is it just another federal power-grab in disguise. The Constitution provides no enumerated power to the federal government in this area.

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