An Open Internet for Thee, But Not For Me

AP quotes White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:  “‘The way Egypt looks and operates must change,’ which is why there needs to be more open communication, on the Internet and elsewhere, he said.  But he also said it was not the U.S. role to determine exactly what that freedom looks like.”  (February 1, 2011).

Now I understand why the White House has failed to rebuke PayPal, MasterCard, Apple Computer and Bank of America for crippling WikiLeaks’ ability to communicate with American citizens!  The U.S. gets to decide what freedom of speech looks like.  If that means watering down “net neutrality” rules and still calling it an "open Internet" (as the FCC does) or letting corporate allies stifle embarrassing types of free speech while keeping an arm's distance (as the Obama administraiton has done), that’s apparently okay. 

The U.S. State Department has declared that an open Internet is a basic human freedom and a foreign policy goal.  Tinny words so long as the vendetta against WikiLeaks continues.  Meanwhile, this image is making the rounds (via P2P Foundation and Chris Pinchen).