Alec Ross in Kyiv to Promote Internet Freedom

Posted by: U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John F. Tefft

Ambassador Tefft welcomes Alec Ross and Ben Scott
Ambassador Tefft welcomes Alec Ross and Ben Scott at his residence

I had the pleasure of hosting Alec Ross in Kyiv from October 25 to 27. Alec is the Senior Advisor on Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and is one of Washington’s leading voices for internet freedom and the use of social media in foreign policy. Alec and his deputy Ben Scott spent three eventful days in Kyiv learning about the local status of internet freedom and discussing Secretary Clinton’s 21st Century Statecraft agenda. Their visit was part of a regional trip with stops in Estonia and Russia.

21st Century Statecraft is an ambitious agenda to use new online tools and the increasingly networked nature of the world to transform the State Department’s approach to diplomacy and development. As Secretary Clinton said in January 2010: “On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress, but the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas.”

Alec and Ben came to Kyiv with fascinating ideas to share about the disruptive change caused by the internet. But their main goal was to hear from a diverse range of Ukrainian businessmen, politicians, journalists, activists, and bloggers about how the internet is affecting Ukraine economically and socially, and its future potential in the country. Continue reading “Alec Ross in Kyiv to Promote Internet Freedom”