Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is criticizing China and other nations for restricting Internet access and erecting other electronic barriers to the free flow of information.
In a wide-ranging speech on internet freedom, Clinton said that in the last year there has been what she called a "spike in threats to the free flow of information."
She cited China, Tunisia and Uzbekistan for stepping up their censorship of the Internet. And she said that in Vietnam, access to popular social networking sites has suddenly disappeared.
In remarks that were carried live on the State Department's Web site, Clinton said it is clear that information technologies are transforming the world, yet it is unclear how that transformation will affect the human rights and welfare of much of the world's population.