Global Internet Freedom Task Force

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The Global Internet Freedom Task Force (GIFT, currently known as the NetFreedom Task Force) was established by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in February 2006 "to monitor and respond to threats to freedom of expression on the internet".[1][2]

The internal task force is the State Department’s policy-coordinating and outreach body for Internet freedom. The members address Internet freedom issues by drawing on the Department's multidisciplinary expertise in international communications policy, human rights, democratization, business advocacy, corporate social responsibility, and relevant countries and regions. It reports to the Secretary through Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs and Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs. The task force coordinates the State Department’s work with other agencies, U.S. Internet companies, non-governmental organizations, academic researchers, and other stakeholders. [3]

The task force considers foreign policy aspects of Internet freedom, including:

  • The use of technology to restrict access to political content and the impact of such censorship efforts on U.S. companies;
  • The use of technology to track and repress dissidents; and
  • Efforts to modify Internet governance structures in order to restrict the free flow of information.

The task force was mentioned by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a speech on Internet Freedom delivered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2010, stating "We are reinvigorating the Global Internet Freedom Task Force as a forum for addressing threats to internet freedom around the world, and urging U.S. media companies to take a proactive role in challenging foreign governments' demands for censorship and surveillance."[4] The task force was renamed the NetFreedom Task Force shortly thereafter.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Global Internet Freedom Task Force", U.S. Department of State, November 3, 2008
  2. ^ Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006, U.S. Department of State, April 4, 2007, p. 75
  3. ^ "Internet Freedom: The NetFreedom Taskforce", U.S. Department of State, January 20, 2009
  4. ^ "Internet Freedom: The prepared text of U.S. of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech, delivered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.", Foreign Policy, January 21, 2010
  5. ^ "NetFreedom Task Force Meeting", U.S. Department of State, March 4, 2010