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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Shutdown of the Internet in Syria


Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 4, 2011

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We are deeply concerned by reports that Internet service has been shut down across much of Syria, as have some mobile communication networks. We condemn any effort to suppress the Syrian people’s exercise of their rights to free expression, assembly, and association.

Two weeks ago, the White House released the International Strategy for Cyberspace, which noted that “States should not arbitrarily deprive or disrupt individuals’ access to the Internet or other networked technologies.” We condemn such shutdowns in the strongest terms.

The Syrian government has a history of restricting the Internet in an attempt to prevent the Syrian people from accessing and sharing information. The Syrian government must understand that attempting to silence its population cannot prevent the transition currently taking place. We believe that even in the face of significant obstacles, the Syrian people will -- and should -- find a way to make their voices heard.

The United States stands for universal human rights, including freedom of expression, and we call on all governments to respect them.



PRN: 2011/907

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