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Google wants U.S. to include Internet freedom in trade agreements

March 10, 2010 |  8:46 am

Including Internet freedom in new trade agreements is crucial to the flow of international commerce, Google Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Nicole Wong said at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Internet censorship has economic implications that could harm businesses across all sectors and should be a major part of U.S. foreign policy, Wong said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s human rights and law subcommittee.

Google wants the U.S. to use trade diplomacy to promote “the free flow of information on the Internet,” she said. Doing so "gives us and our government a better platform for having those conversations," Wong said.

Daniel Weitzner, an administrator in the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications Information Administration, told lawmakers he was unable to commit to such a strategy but said it would be appropriate.

Protecting the United States from cyber-attacks should be the No. 1 priority, said Larry Wortzel, commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Asked whether the Chinese government was responsible for the recent attacks on Google, Wortzel said he had very little doubt. 

“It was the Chinese government,” he said.

You can watch the hearing, “The Google Predicament: Transforming U.S. Cyberspace Policy to Advance Democracy, Security, and Trade," here.

-- Jessica Guynn