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Today's Appointment Streaming: Clinton to Tackle "Internet Rights and Wrongs"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, February 15 2011

Secretary Clinton briefs the press yesterday after meeting on Capitol Hill; photo via the State Department's Flickr feed

Just a reminder that you might want to put on a note on your calendar that today, 12:30 p.m. EST at George Washington University in DC, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be delivering a speech titled "Internet Rights and Wrongs: Choices and Challenges In A Networked World," the second of her speeches on the theme of "Internet freedom" and a followup to her landmark speech on the topic delivered last January at the Newseum.

Through the miracle that is said Internet, you can watch Clinton's speech online through the State Department's global Co.NX system (say, "Connects") that blends video and social chattering. (An in-the-weeds geekery note: Co.NX here has been threaded through Facebook, at least in the United States. Why? Dunno.)

It's quite a time for the U.S. Secretary of State to be coming out strong with an Internet freedom agenda. Politico's Josh Gerstein and Laura Rozen do a state of play on the moment, with a focus on the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into the online accounts of Wikileaks participants. That circle is, in a way, fairly easy for State to square by saying, as spokesperson P.J. Crowley did mid-last month, that Wikileaks "is not an exercise in Internet freedom. It is about the legitimate investigation of a crime." More complicated is a situation like Egypt, where a lightly-sketched foreign policy principle on the freedoms of information and assembly seems to challenge assumptions about critical U.S. interests on the ground, at least in the short term.

After the speech, Alec Ross, Clinton's advisor on innovation, is slated to take questions, and the event is scheduled to run until 2:30 p.m.