Hillary Clinton made unrestricted Internet access a US foreign policy priority, and urged China to investigate alleged cyber-attacks originating from its borders.
The Secretary of State called for thorough and transparent investigations from China into last week's incidents targeting a number of Silicon Valley companies, including, search giant Google.
We look to Chinese authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the cyber intrusions that led Google to make this announcement, she said. We also look for that investigation and its results to be transparent.
She called for international condemnation of countries and individuals that engage in such hacking, though did not refer China directly in the statement.
Clinton's comments come in the wake of a threat from Google last week to pull its operations out of the country.
More broadly, Clinton addressed all countries that seek to repress the freedom of its citizens from accessing content, or websites freely. She also named Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.
Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world's networks, she said.
They have expunged words, names and phrases from search engine results, Clinton said. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in nonviolent political speech.
The Secretary unveiled a new US policy hoping to encourage the world governments to ensure their citizens have open access to the Internet.
Over $15 million will be allocated in an effort to help more women and young people in other countries access the Internet and communicate on the Web.
The State Department and USAID will work outside governments, such as academics and technologists, to create technologies to further the rights for the citizens and their connectivity.
The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly in cyberspace, she said, speaking in Washington. It allows individuals to get online, come together, and hopefully cooperate in the name of progress.
Clinton said that the US stand s for a single Internet, where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas.