Amnesty Charges Web Companies

I’m not sure what category to put this item under. It fits ‘Politics – How not to do it’ if you consider what the Chinese authorities are doing. But, on the other hand, it fits ‘Politics – As it should be’ if you focus on what Amnesty is advocating here. And, finaly, if you think about what Microsoft, Yahoo and Google are doing by bending to the Chinese authorities for the sake of money – then I don’t think I have a category to hold that though perhaps I should. Read it for yourself and you decide.

Associated Press 07:34 AM Jul, 20, 2006

BEIJING — Amnesty International accused Yahoo, Microsoft and Google on Thursday of violating human rights principles by cooperating with China’s efforts to censor the web and called on them to lobby for the release of jailed cyber-dissidents.

The London-based human rights group also called on the internet companies to publicly oppose Chinese government requests that violate human rights standards.

“The internet should promote free speech, not restrict it. We have to guard against the creation of two internets — one for expression and one for repression,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty’s U.S. branch, in a statement.

The companies “have violated their stated corporate values and policies” in their pursuit of China’s booming internet market, the statement said. It appealed to them to “call for the release of ‘cyber-dissidents.'”

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