p2pnet news view | Freedom:- It’s been going on for years.
With Yahoo leading the way, and such as Google, Microsoft and Cisco close behind, multinational conglomerates ride roughshod over customers living in repressive countries such as China, putting business interests in front of human rights.
Now, “Diverse Coalition Launches New Effort to Respond to Government Censorship and Threats to Privacy,” says a headline to a post on the Global Network Initiative site.
“In an effort to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy, a diverse coalition of leading information and communications companies, major human rights organizations, academics, investors and technology leaders today launched the Global Network Initiative,” it said on October 28.
“All over the world — from the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to Africa and Asia — companies in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector face increasing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies in ways that may conflict with the internationally recognized human rights of freedom of expression and privacy.”
Ask Shi Tao or Wang Xiaoning, each jailed for ten years after Yahoo handed Chinese authorities and records which led to the men`s original imprisonment, whether that’s the case or not.
Said p2pnet in August last year »»»
Yahoo China and MSN China have signed a code of conduct which commits them to looking after the interests of China, including acting as state censors.
“I can confirm that we signed the pact this week,” the Taipei Times has Yahoo China spokesman Dou Xiaohan saying.
“We’ve signed the pact but there is no press release on that,” said MSN China spokesman Feng Jinhu.
It’s a “self-discipline” pledge under which they promised to “safeguard state and public interests,” says a statement from the China Internet Society quoted in the story.
“The pact ‘encourages’ Internet firms to register the real names, addresses and other personal details of the bloggers, and then keep this information,” it says, going on:
“The firms also committed to delete any ‘illegal or bad messages,’ according to a copy of the pact posted on the society’s Web site.”
Yahoo, MSN and Google are at the top of the list of American companies which routinely comply with Chinese demands in the interests of maintaining cordial and fruitful business relationships.
Yahoo in particular has been singled out for allegedly releasing information to Chinese police which has led to cyber dissidents being jailed.
Among them are Shi Tao and Wang Xiaoning, both imprisoned for 10 years.
The company is currently accused of aiding and abetting human rights abuses in China by supplying information which led to dissidents being imprisoned.
“In response, a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics spent two years negotiating and creating a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector, and have formed an Initiative to take this work forward,” says the Global Network Initiative.
However, “Human rights campaign group Amnesty International has criticised a new human rights organisation backed by technology giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo,” says The Guardian.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo were among the first signatories but Amnesty says although it was involved in earlier discussions over the group, it’s now, “dropped out after receiving final drafts of its principles in August,” says the story, adding:
“Amnesty’s criticisms will come as a major blow to the initiative’s plans, but it is not the only group to voice its concern.”
“What’s disappointing is that the amount of effort didn’t produce something more substantial,” it has Morton Sklar, executive director of the World Organisation for Human Rights USA, stating.
Shi Tao or Wang Xiaoning – Yahoo must help jailed dissidents’ families, November, 13, 2007
p2pnet - Yahoo, MSN, kowtow to China, August 27, 2007
The Guardian – Amnesty criticises Global Network Initiative for online freedom of speech, October 30, 2008
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. It`s really easy!
Subscribe to p2pnet.net | | rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/p2p.rss | | Mobile – http://p2pnet.net/index-wml.php
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.