Target Cyber-Oppressors, Not U.S. Businesses

A new executive order, aimed at curbing the abuse of information technology, was intended to target Syrian and Iranian cyber-activists. Unfortunately, the executive order also targets the companies that produce the advanced technologies used by the Iranians and Syrians for cybercensorship or tracking, many of which are American companies. There are better ways to approach the problem of human rights in cyberspace. Instead of penalizing the companies, the Obama Administration should: spend Internet freedom funds wisely; speak out against Internet freedom’s worst offenders, and where possible, freeze their assets; and encourage other nations to join a coalition, which could provide the venue for “naming and shaming” offenders.

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