HILLARY CLINTON’S SPEECH RELATED TO FREEDOM OF INTERNET DISCUSSED

January 22nd, 2010
Yesterday, 21 January, the US embassy and the Azerbaijani Media Centre held discussions after the conclusion of US State Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speech related to Freedom of Internet in Washington.

US Embassy Public Relations department Head Terry Davidson said that Hillary Clinton’s speech related on freedom of speech is as important for Azerbaijan as it is for other countries of the world.  
IREX Deputy Director on Media Broadcasting Project Shahin Abbasli said in his short summary that Hillary Clinton spoke about positive roles of technology development. Mrs. Clinton said that it is possible to learn realities from the internet, which is the means of global information in the modern world.  She stated regretfully that internet is also used to suppress democracy and freedom of speech in the countries where authoritarian regime is in power. Furthermore, Hillary Clinton called on the entire world to unite to fight against narcotic traders and terrorists who use the internet for ill intentions.  She stated that countries applying censorship on the internet for political purposes distance themselves from the development of the world and suffer economically.
Hillary Clinton criticized China, Uzbekistan and Tunisia for their censorship and called on China’s leadership to investigate the attack of hackers to the local human rights defenders’ emails recently and on all countries to provide people with free access to information and fight against hackers.
Hillary Clinton condemned the persecution of people for their activities on the internet social networks in a number of countries and said that a lot of bloggers were arrested in Egypt.
Turan information agency’s deputy chief Shahin Hajiyev said that a number of problems that Hillary Clinton touched upon in her speech are important for Azerbaijan. “Internet is very important in the countries where either official or non-official censorship exists. Today it is possible to get important and valuable information on “Facebook”, “You Tube” and other resources,” said Sh.Hajiyev.
National Internet Forum Head Osman Gunduz said that it is possible to call internet free in Azerbaijan. “Even the most radical political associations can place their materials on the internet. There is no legal base in the legislation regarding censorship on the internet either,” said O.Gunduz. He stated that the main problem of the internet is its inaccessibility in Azerbaijan and the low speed and high prices of the internet makes the internet inaccessible for people in Azerbaijan.
People who joined online discussions from USA embassy information centers in Ganja, Khachmaz and Lenkeran expressed their opinions and addressed their questions to the participants of the discussion.