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Internet Censorship, Reforming Fannie and Freddie and Free Trade with Colombia

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Internet Censorship, Reforming Fannie and Freddie and Free Trade with Colombia

American tech companies announce new guidelines for doing business in nations threatened by censorship.

Lawmakers urge embattled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue their tradition of charitable giving.

The proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia becomes a major campaign issue in Florida.

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. TECHNOLOGY

American tech companies announce new guidelines for doing business in nations threatened by censorship.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Research Associate Ryan Radia reacts to the announcement:

“It’s welcome news for defenders of liberty that U.S. Web giants plan to play hardball with foreign governments who would use information gleaned from Internet firms to violate their citizens’ human rights. Several troubling reports have surfaced in the past few years about American companies abetting egregious actions by oppressive governments. In January, Indian police beat a man whose arrest stemmed from Google’s cooperation with the Indian government. And in 2005, Yahoo gave information to the Chinese government that led to the arrest of a journalist accused of giving out state secrets (the case was later overturned).”

 

2. FINANCE

Lawmakers urge embattled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac   to continue their tradition of charitable giving.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: President Fred L. Smith, Jr. on the next step in reforming Fannie and Freddie:

“While they are under the government conservator, policymakers should move forward on what is the only option that will guarantee a permanent end to these risks: an orderly liquidation. Back in 2000, I urged Congress in my testimony ‘to develop a divestiture or breakup plan for Fannie and Freddie.’ I suggested that lawmakers ‘create a liquidation plan that would plausibly avoid a bailout if and when the next economic crisis occurs.’ The good news is that just in the past few weeks, the debate has largely moved beyond Fannie and Freddie's hybrid public-private structure. Across the political spectrum, there is recognition that the GSE model of privatization of profit, yet socialization of risk, is unsustainable.”

 

3. INTERNATIONAL

The proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and ColombiaFlorida. becomes a major campaign issue in

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst Fran Smith on why the agreement should be approved:

“The agreement would benefit both nations’ economies and would be a positive foreign policy gesture. The trade pact is especially important for the U.S. In the first quarter of 2008, economic growth was an anemic 0.9 percent. Nine thousand American companies that do business with Colombia stand to benefit. So do consumers. Moreover, with Latin America currently beset by a wave of anti-American populism, the Colombia FTA would consolidate a key alliance in that crucial region.”

 

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