Google, one of the world’s largest internet-based businesses, has rounded up Western leaders for meetings on internet freedom at The Hague in The Netherlands. Telecom operators, bloggers and foreign ministers from United States, Canada, Estonia and Kenya were all present for the meetings on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th December 2011.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal proposed the initiative and welcomed US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to the Fokker terminal, where the assembled leaders criticised internet censorship and technology used to monitor web use.
Hilary Clinton used the platform to make a stand against countries which interfere online:
“It is most urgent, of course, for those around the world whose words are now censored, who are imprisoned because of what they or others have written online, who are blocked from accessing entire categories of Internet content or who are being tracked by governments seeking to keep them from connecting with one another.”
Six million Euros were pledged to help internet freedom activists operating under “repressive regimes”.