(AFP) – Feb 9, 2011
WASHINGTON — An aide to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday welcomed Syria's decision to give its people direct access to Facebook and You Tube, but voiced fears that users would run risks without freedom of expression.
"Welcome positive move on Facebook & YouTube in #Syria but concerned that freedom puts users at risk absent freedom of expression&association," Alec Ross, Clinton's senior advisor for innovation, said on the microblogging website Twitter.
In Damascus, Internet users said that for the first time since 2007, Syrians could directly log onto Facebook and YouTube without going through proxy servers abroad.
The authorities issued no statements regarding the development, but Syria's leading media and technology entrepreneur, Abdulsalam Haykal, told AFP that the request to lift the block "had reached Internet service providers."
"The process of lifting the ban will take time and may extend for hours or days, according to the supplier," he added.
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