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+ - Global Online Freedom Act Approved by House Committee-> 1

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Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "While it is a bit disappointing that companies might need a law to avoid providing tools to censor free speech in overseas regimes, an updated version of a bill that's been floating around for a few years — the Global Online Freedom Act — has passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. The version that passed out of committee took out some controversial earlier provisions that had potential criminal penalties for those who failed to report information to the Justice Department. The Center for Democracy and Technology has however raised some concerns:

"While some companies – such as GNI members Google, Microsoft, Websense, and Yahoo! – have stepped up and acknowledged these responsibilities in an accountable way, other companies have not been so forthright. GOFA, however, is a complex bill. While it presents a number of sensible and innovative mechanisms for mitigating the negative impact of surveillance and censorship technologies, it also raises some difficult questions: can export controls be meaningfully extended in ways that reduce the spread of (to borrow words from Chairman Smith) "weapons of mass surveillance" without diminishing the ability of dissidents to connect and communicate? How can – and should – US companies engage with so-called "Internet-restricting" countries? As this bill progresses, we look forward to working with Rep. Smith and his staff on answers to these and other important questions.""

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Global Online Freedom Act Approved by House Committee

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