U.S. protests against censorship would seem more convincing if it were not for its own policies restricting Internet freedom. Consider, for example, the United States' questionable prohibition of cross-border trade in Internet gambling. In 2004, the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda against the United States when the United States banned online gambling services emanating from the twin-island nation. The United States appealed the case and lost, but in the meantime, Antigua's online gambling industry was virtually destroyed. The United States still has not yet satisfactorily resolved this ruling and should do so by conforming to it.
The United States' sincerity has also been called into question due to its strong advocacy for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which is currently being negotiated with several other countries. This proposal is not a conventional free-trade agreement but rather one that would establish stricter legal frameworks for intellectual-property-rights enforcement outside of existing international organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the WTO.
As many see it, however, the ACTA would strengthen intellectual-property laws at the expense of the Internet community's well-being. According to the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, which represents prominent academics and activists worldwide, the agreement would encourage Internet service providers to police users and disconnect them without due process. In so doing, innovation and competition would be stifled. The agreement is thus fueling widespread concern that Washington cares more about the commercial interests of its major copyright holders than about nurturing the creative potential of Internet users.
I think they are right to point out the hypocrisy here. A ban on internet gambling is not exactly the same as censorship of political views, but arguably they come from a similar place. I suppose I'm a little jaded about this sort of thing, after watching years of free trade rhetoric and protectionist reality. But I agree that a government's position will be stronger if it practices what it preaches.