Foreign Policy and the Internet

The Internet can be an effective tool to achieve the foreign policy goals and to promote freedom. Although many people around the world Internet access, they vary in their access to information due to government restrictions.

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  1. In my five points, I will explain how the Internet has been used for foreign policy purposes.
  2. 1- Internet Freedom

  3. Freedom is a fundamental human right that not everybody has fully obtained especially in countries that run by repressive regimes. In these countries, basic human rights are violated including the freedom of expression. Having full access to online information is one of these rights.For Americans, free speech is a fundamental right that is protected by the U.S. Constitution.The First Amendment to the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
  4. The page belew is a report of the freedom on the Internet that was released by the Freedom House, which is a non-governmental organization that observes and evaluetes the global freedom of expression
  5. The article below explained some issues related to freedom of expression online in the Western countries. The author gave examples of many famous cases where people were hurt or lost their job because they express their opinion online
  6. The link below contains a video produced by Aljazera, and discuss whether the Internet is free in the United States or not. It higlithes the issue of govrnment survilance of the Internet in the name of figtinh terrorsim.
  7. 2- Digital Public Diplomacy

  8. Public diplomacy can be defined as the government effort to influence the audience of foreign countries. As a result of technological development the U.S government has also developed the practice of its public diplomacy to keep up with the technological advancement and engage foreign publics. U.S government has been active in terms of using the Internet to reach the foreign audience and promotes its values among them. It is important to say that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is turning point in U.S. public diplomacy.
  9. The U.S. government has assigned achieving the goals of foreign policy to Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. They have done many initiatives to promote American values and interact with foreign public
  10. Share America is one of these initiatives. The Website is a platform where U.S government constantly publishes many stories in multiple languages. The stories cover a wide range of topics including education, democracy, health care ,etc. The website has over 100,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.
  11. Dipnote is another initiative that is done by the U.S. Department of State. It is a blog that publishes many stories in English and allows foreign public to engage in a conversation and give their feedback
  12. "Think Again Turn Away" is an initiative that was conducted by the Department of State to warn people from ISIS. It uses horrible videos that show dead bodies without their heads. The initiative was described as an embarrassing to the U.S, and it failed.
  13. 3- Engagement

  14. Engagement can be defined as “the process of interaction and dialogue with foreign publics (Comor & Bean, 2012)”. Engagement with foreign public becomes an important part of the U.S foreign policy and public diplomacy efforts. It is an attempt from the U.S. government to create the two-way communication style.
  15. Tara Sonenshine, who was the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2012 to 2013, speaks in this video about how they are willing to engage with foreign public especially young people, and what strategies the U.S government uses to do so.
  16. Under Secretary of State Sonenshine on Youth Engagement for Public Diplomacy
  17. Because of much of the efforts of public diplomacy by the Department of State is focused on the Islamic World, the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton appointed Farah Anwar Pandith as the first Special Representative to Muslim. Her job was to engage Muslim communities around the world on issues of mutual interest, in support of shared goals, and to advance the execution of the U.S. foreign policy.
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