updated 02:50 pm EST, Fri December 9, 2011
EC to support activists' expression of ideas
The EU is readying a strategy to support political activists using the Internet and social networking to communicate their views in countries that are inclined to repress freedom of expression. Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission, told a Dutch conference on Internet freedom that she will be announcing a plan to assist activists speaking out for democracy in their countries. Kroes' words mirrored comments made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday on Internet restrictions in Russia, Syria and China.
"I am committed to doing whatever I can to support their cause," Kroes said. "On Monday we will be announcing further details about how we can take this forward."
Kroes is expected to present a "No-Disconnect" strategy, which will outline what is needed to help cyber activists bypass restrictions on their freedom to communicate, including the tools and technology needed to shield them from indiscriminate surveillance, according to Kroes' spokesman Ryan Heath.
In part, Ms. Kroes' reaction followed the jailing of prominent Russian anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny earlier this week after he participated in anti-government protests over ballot-stuffing and other irregularities in parliamentary elections held this past Sunday. [ via Reuters]