A government official has said that internet freedom is under threat constantly.

“Repressive regimes understand the power of this technology, and they are redoubling their attempts to control it.” – Maria Otero Under Secretary Democracy and Global Affairs

She noted that Internet freedom derives from universal and cherished rights, the freedoms of speech, assembly, and association and is based on the concept that the same rights that apply offline apply in new online environments.

As Secretary Clinton has said, “the rights of individuals to express their views freely, petition their leaders, worship according to their beliefs, these rights are universal, whether they are exercised in a public square or on an individual blog,”¬†Otero added.

She stressed that an open and accessible Internet gives people a platform from which to express their aspirations and shape their own destiny. She said people in every country deserve to be able to take part in building a more peaceful, prosperous, and democratic society.

“In the 21st century, technology is a powerful tool with which to exercise human rights and fundamental freedoms. As we all know, the Internet, mobile phone networks, and other new technologies are having a profound effect on the ability of citizen movements around the world to organize themselves,”¬†she added.

She stressed thatrepressive governments used to set up simple firewalls at Internet Exchange Points to block external content from outside their borders. She added they’re using sophisticated software to monitor all digital activity within their countries, and to delete posts and block emails in something approaching real time.