Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship

Human Rights Watch has issued a report, titled “Race to the Bottom: Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship,” documenting how Western-based internet companies assist Chinese censorship. The report details how search engines such as Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google and Skype have taken measures to block results containing sensitive terms, censor blogs and text chats, and even released some personal information to the government – thereby losing the trust of some China’s savviest internet users. The companies maintain that they are simply complying with local laws, but the report cites many cases in which they went above and beyond Chinese law, sometimes outpacing any official pressure, in an effort to curry favor with the government of the world’s most populous country. Human Rights Watch urges jurisdictions such as the US and EU to pass legislation outlining a code of conduct against censorship that would apply to companies operating all over the world. Regardless of the country, internet firms should fight rather than practice censorship. – YaleGlobal

Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship

Legislation and code of conduct needed to ensure ethical business practices
Thursday, August 10, 2006

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