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H.R. 3605 (112th): Global Online Freedom Act of 2011

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

12/8/2011--Introduced. Global Online Freedom Act of 2011 - Makes it U.S. policy to: (1) promote the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media; (2) use all appropriate instruments of U.S. influence to support the free flow of information without interference or discrimination; and (3) deter U.S. businesses from cooperating with Internet-restricting countries in effecting online censorship.

Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the President should seek international agreements to protect Internet freedom; and (2) some U.S. businesses, in assisting foreign governments to restrict online access to U.S.-supported websites and government reports and to identify individual Internet users, are working contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests.

Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to require assessments of electronic information freedom in each foreign country.

Directs the Secretary of State to annually designate Internet-restricting countries.

Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require each Internet communications services company that operates in an Internet-restricting country to include in its annual report information relating to: (1) human rights due diligence, (2) policies pertaining to the collection of personally identifiable information, and (3) restrictions on Internet search engines or content hosting services.

Amends the Export Administration Act of 1979, as continued in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, to direct the Secretary of Commerce to: (1) establish a list of goods and technology that would assist a foreign government in acquiring the capability to carry out censorship, surveillance, or any other related activity through means of telecommunications, including the Internet; and (2) prohibit the export of listed goods or technology to a government end user in any Internet-restricting country.