US: Concerns over Internet Censorship "central to our foreign policy"

The U.S. State Department now considers Internet censorship a high foreign policy priority, and factors the issue into diplomatic relations, according to a public statement last Friday by a department official:

In every meeting with foreign dignitaries, "this issue is on the table," Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said here at an event hosted by the Media Access Project, a nonprofit law firm and advocacy group.

"Internet freedom has gone from being something that's a piece of what could at best be called a piece of foreign policy arcanum — a little thing that a handful of people work on — to something becoming increasingly central in our foreign policy," Ross said.

Wonder what's prompting that meme insertion. A few websites re-blogging this article ran headlines like "Internet Censorship Central to US Foreign Policy," which some 'net freedom advocates and critics of US policy ( coughACTAcough ) might argue makes more sense.

State Dept. Ramping Up Internet Freedom Work (