Netherlands keen to foster internet freedom worldwide

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal said in Brussels today that freedom of expression must be guaranteed, including on the internet. The Netherlands is working internationally to promote internet freedom so that cyber-dissidents who are currently obstructed by repressive regimes can receive information and express their views on the internet without fear of reprisals. Freedom of expression, including on the internet, is a human right.

Mr Rosenthal was speaking at a meeting organised by Google and the European Centre for International Political Economy. He called on businesses to shoulder their responsibilities by adopting international codes of conduct.

Mr Rosenthal aims to increase Dutch support to cyber-dissidents. He also announced that the Netherlands and Canada will be hosting a ministerial conference on internet freedom later this year, aimed at improving coordination between governments and increasing dialogue with the business sector.