recommended reading

American officials, tech groups urge Egypt to restore communications

Many groups and top government officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, called on Egypt Friday to allow access to the Internet and other communications systems.

"We urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications," Clinton said at a joint appearance with Columbian Vice President Angelino Garzon.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also addressed the communications situation during his afternoon briefing, calling Internet access a basic human right.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Internet access is a vital tool for protecting basic freedoms.

"A free and open internet is essential to ensuring the universal rights of the people of Egypt, and of all peoples, to freedom of expression, confidence in the rule of law, and government that is transparent and accountable to the citizens," he said in a statement Friday afternoon.

The Center for Democracy & Technology called Egypt's actions a "stunning and highly counterproductive step backwards" and said it illustrated the vulnerability of communications technology.

"While we appreciate that some companies involved have acknowledged their role, events unfolding across the region underscore how critical it is for companies operating in these risky environments to have robust strategies to push back on government demands inconsistent with rule of law and respect for human rights," said the center's international project director, Cynthia Wong.

And other groups looked for American connections to the Internet blackout.

Free Press Campaign Director Timothy Karr accused U.S. companies of selling technology to Egypt and helping the government crackdown on free speech.

"What we are seeing in Egypt is a frightening example of how the power of technology can be abused," he said. "Commercial operators trafficking in Deep Packet Inspection technology to violate Internet users' privacy is bad enough; in government hands, that same invasion of privacy can quickly lead to stark human rights violations."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.