Are we fighting a new cold war? If so, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sounded the charge this week, by calling for an end to Internet censorship and naming governments that suppress the free flow of the people's information. Most pointedly directed at China, these countries include Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Tunisia and Uzbekistan.
The Chinese government immediately accused Ms. Clinton of jeopardizing relations between our two countries with her criticism of Chinese censorship. Of course, this issue was brought to a head by Google's allegations that its computer network had been infiltrated by hackers based in China, who have targeted human rights activists. The unsaid fear? That these individuals will be rounded up, possibly jailed, possibly worse. These concerns are not unfounded. This past Thursday the Chinese government made its first official comments about a prominent human rights advocate who disappeared almost a year ago stating that "he is where he should be".
Contrast this with our ability in this country to Facebook each other endlessly, to twitter away, to blog about any subject we choose, including this one.
My co workers tease me all the time because I am a stats junkie. I check the typepad stats page twenty thousand times a day to see where our traffic is coming from. Today, much to my shock, I found out that The American Fertility Association blog has been translated into Chinese and has been on the internet there for some time.
My jaw dropped open, I wrote to my board of directors immediately and felt proud. And then I thought, what if this freedom is taken away from those who apparently need it? The freedom to simply read about family building. To read the wise words of a Fred Licciardi or a Harry Fisch.
Chinese censorship, global censorship, is our issue too. If we are willing to live in a world without medical borders, and invite people here to utilize our medical system, and travel to other countries searching for surrogates, this is our issue too. As long as we are willing to travel to China to adopt little girls out of orphanages, this is our issue too. How can we look into their faces and tell them we were unwilling to fight for the freedom of their birth families, left behind? We are not just citizens of our country, we are citizens of our world.
And thanks to the unending, and hard won, freedoms that we as U.S. citizens enjoy, it is our job to fight for the freedoms of others. The AFA blog is in China. Let freedom ring.