According to CNET, the US State Department is planning to hold a "Net Freedom" event on January 30 in DC. The goal of the event is to "preserve the Internet as being a conduit for the free flow of information," according to US Ambassador David Gross . The State Department already has a "Global Internet Freedom Task Force" established by Condoleeza Rice last year.
One has to wonder if the spotlight will be only put on typical bad-guy countries like Iran, Cuba and China that heavily censor the ‘net. One would hope that there be at least some discussion of domestic threats to freedom on the net, namely ISPs blocking content and applications that limit innovation and freedom of expression for Americans. My guess is that Net Neutrality won’t be on the agenda on January 30 though.
At any rate, I welcome efforts of the US government to use its considerable influence abroad to promote greater freedom, democracy and human rights… online and offline. People languish in jails in China, Tunisia and Myanmar for sending the wrong email or blogging about a "dangerous" idea. If you haven’t already signed Amnesty International’s "Irrepressible" internet freedom campaign, please do so. And check out OpenNet Initiative’s map of levels of internet censorship worldwide.