The State Department will launch programs to promote Internet freedom, expand access to the Internet by women and other groups; implement programs which trains and supports civil society groups and NGOs in the use of new media technologies that enhance communication and coordination efforts; and support a series of pilot projects starting this spring that will use new media to connect people -- particularly young people -- to expand civic participation and increase the new media capabilities of civil society in the Middle East and North Africa.The full text of the speech is here.
This is undoubtedly pointed largely at China, whose recent cyberattacks prompted Google to pull out of the country.
But it has much larger implications -- for much of the post-Soviet sphere especially, but not only. Indeed, it should be seen as a bolster to domestic discussion of net neutrality as a foreign policy calculation. One hopes this move will garner the attention it deserves.