December 16th, 2009 | Published in Google Public Policy
People make their voices heard through news articles, blogs, social networking sites, tweets, emails, and other media each and every day. For some, the act of publishing news and opinion is a dangerous and sometimes deadly one that requires heroism and a deep desire to seek the facts and share their views with others. In 2009 alone, Reporters without Borders estimates that more than 70 journalists have been killed -- and 170 journalists and almost 100 cyberdissidents have been imprisoned.
Today, the House of Representatives has before it the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act -- named after the courageous Wall Street Journal reporter who was abducted and murdered by terrorists in 2002. The Act requires the State Department to include information about freedom of the press in its annual human rights reports, which would result in raising the profile of robust and independent journalism around the world and the importance of a free media in our foreign policy.
As a company that believes deeply in free expression, we feel it's important to join the chorus of support for the bill. We congratulate Representatives Adam Schiff and Mike Pence who sponsored this bill in honor of the memory of reporters like Mr. Pearl.
Governments, companies, and individuals can and must do more to protect basic human rights as Internet access spreads and carries with it the potential for greater freedom for people around the world. We at Google are determined to continue to do our part and make new, significant contributions to promote free expression in 2010.