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Internet access 'a right' - Kerry

US secretary of state John Kerry has said people around the world have a fundamental right to the internet.

He denounced authoritarian governments that place restrictions on web access and social media.

Speaking from Washington to an online freedom forum in Estonia, Mr Kerry said open and unrestricted communication helps make governments accountable.

He said autocratic rulers therefore see a free, open and inclusive internet as a threat to their power.

Mr Kerry said restrictions imposed by such leaders allow them to fragment their societies and cloud the truth.

On the other hand, he said the US and other democracies must continue to push for internet freedom to give people a voice.

Mr Kerry also stressed the importance of protecting internet privacy and noted recent changes to US intelligence-gathering.


From Belfast Telegraph